International Telecommunication Union   ITU
 
 
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Tuesday, February 18, 2014

China Telecom has officially launched its TD-LTE service on 14 February, which will be expanded to almost 100 cities. In the initial phase of the launch, the 4G service packages include monthly, half-yearly, and yearly plans. The operator also said it has over ten models of data devices available that support the network. Monthly plans start at CNY 70 for 1 GB of data and range to CNY 280 for 10 GB of data per month, while the six month plan costs CNY 300 for 6 GB, and the one-year plan is priced at CNY 600 for 12 GB of data.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 9:31:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Indian mobile phone market leaders Bharti Airtel and Vodafone bought airwaves worth about $3 billion each in a hotly contested auction that raised nearly $10 billion, far exceeding the government's target.

No.1 Bharti and second-ranked Vodafone said they had won airwaves in the premium 900 megahertz band that was available in three key cities -- Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Conglomerate Reliance Industries, a new entrant in telecoms that is seen as a threat to the incumbents, bought airwaves in another band in 14 locations the government said, estimated to have cost it $1.7 billion.

The market leaders' heavy spending on airwaves underscores the fierce competition and their bet on mobile data in the world's second biggest mobile phone market behind China.

No.3 mobile operator Idea Cellular said it spent $1.7 billion on new airwaves including in 900 band in the capital city Delhi.

After India removed technology restrictions, the 900 and 1800 spectrum bands sold in the auction can be used to offer 3G and 4G services, respectively. Currently carriers offer voice services on these bands, but Bharti, Vodafone and Idea said on Thursday they could use these to rollout mobile data services.

Telenor's Indian unit, Reliance Communications and Aircel also won airwaves in the 1800 MHz band in some zones. Companies have the right to use the airwaves won in the auction for 20 years.

Source: Reuters.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 9:30:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 31, 2014

Telenor Group today announced that it has signed an agreement with the Union Government of Myanmar for a nationwide telecommunications license. The license includes spectrum in the 900MHz and 2.1GHz bands and is valid for 15 years.  Telenor aims to provide accessible and affordable mobile communications to people across Myanmar, and will launch services within eight months after the license is awarded.

"The people of Myanmar are ready for world-class mobile services and Telenor is ready to deliver it," said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO of Telenor Group.
 
"A major milestone has been passed with the signing of the nationwide telecommunications license agreement with the Myanmar government. This is the start of an exciting journey in Myanmar`s development, which Telenor will support through the delivery of world-class mobile services, responsible business practices and high standards that we live by in all of our markets," added Baksaas.
 
With a population of around 60 million, of which less than 10 percent have access to mobile services, Myanmar represents a strong business opportunity for Telenor in Asia. Telenor Group will build on its global and regional experience to establish Telenor Myanmar as a successful mass market operator.
 
There was record interest for the license award process in Myanmar with more than 91 companies expressing interest to participate. Following announcement on June 27 last year of the successful applicants, Telenor entered into consultation with the authorities to finalise details of the policy framework.
 
"The license is a product of an extensive consultation process with the Government of Myanmar and international organisations. It now represents an acceptable framework that we believe will go a long way to provide the necessary long-term predictability that Telenor requires when it formally starts operations in Myanmar," said Sigve Brekke, Executive Vice President of Telenor Group and Head of Telenor`s Operations in Asia.

To secure a rapid roll-out, Telenor has already appointed a management team and has initiated ongoing recruitment of employees on all levels. Currently, the company has a workforce of 150, and is expected to hire 1,000 full-time employees by the end of 2014.
 
"We are fully focused on a rapid roll-out of our network and establishing an extensive distribution system to make services easily available to the population. By offering high-quality products and excellent customer experience, we aim to create loyalty and trust with our customers in Myanmar," said Petter Furberg, CEO of Telenor Myanmar.
 
Telenor will build a state-of-the-art mobile network using HSPA and LTE-ready technologies, and plans to provide network coverage for 90% of the population in Myanmar within five years. Voice and data services over 2G and 3G will be commercially launched as Telenor`s initial offering, ensuring that consumers get excellent voice quality and high-speed data connectivity.
 
Telenor targets EBITDA break-even in Myanmar within three years after the license award. The total peak funding, defined as the license fee plus accumulated losses until operating cash flow break-even is expected to be around USD 1 billion. The license fee is USD 500 million.

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Friday, January 31, 2014 3:39:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 30, 2013
Bangladesh's four mobile operators have secured 3G spectrum after an auction on 08 September organised by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). Grameenphone, the largest mobile operator in the country, acquired 10 MHz in the 2,100 band for USD 210 million. Robi, Banglalink and Airtel each acquired 5 MHz for USD 105 million. Teletalk, the sole state-run mobile operator, will be awarded 10 MHz spectrum for USD 210 million. The BTRC sold in total 35 MHz of spectrum for USD 735 million, the Dhaka Tribune reported. A total 40 MHz was available in the auction. The reserve price was USD 20 million per MHz. Citycell, the oldest operator, sat out the auction after it was unable to raise the necessary financing.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, September 30, 2013 7:29:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 25, 2013
Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) unleashed a tariff war in the 3G data segment on Thursday as the company slashed monthly tariff by 50%, offering high-speed mobile internet at half the price of competitors like BhartiAirtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular. The move by the country's third-biggest mobile operator comes a few weeks after its rivals lowered 2G and 3G rates, but only for data usage beyond standard package limits.

Data adoption in India has been slow, but is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years as sales of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets boom with users consuming more online content.

RCom has reduced the monthly tariff for 1GB data on 3G to Rs 123 from Rs 250. This is even cheaper than the company's 2G monthly tariff that of Rs 125. "We want a data tsunami and want to liberate customers from high prices and slow speed," RCom president and CEO (wireless) Gurdeep Singh said.

When contacted, most of the other companies refused to comment. However, industry analysts say that a price cut may not be far away as companies are scouting for heavy data users.

3G adoption in India has been slow as high prices and not-so-efficient services have kept users away. Only about 5% of the country's 850 million mobile users have subscribed to 3G services, which are estimated to account for 3% of mobile revenue of telecom carriers. Companies are also fighting hard in the data space as voice tariffs - one of the lowest in the world - have remained more-or-less muted over the last many months and operators have rather done away with freebies and discounts here to shore up revenues.

Airtel, Vodafone and Idea had last month cut the prices of their internet data plans, but the lower rates were valid only beyond the stipulated standard package prices. Currently, Vodafone charges Rs 250 monthly for 1GB data package of 3G and Idea and Bharti also offer a near-similar plan. Their reductions had come for data usage beyond the 1GB limit.

RCom has 3G services in 13 circles that include Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Assam and North East. The lower tariffs are for all kind of connections - pre-paid, post-paid, new and old. RCom has also reduced prices for 2GB and 4GB pack on 3G network.

Source: The Times of India.

Thursday, July 25, 2013 7:36:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 19, 2013

Korean operator SK Telecom says that more than 150,000 subscribers have signed up for its LTE-Advanced network just 14 days after its launch, according to a Yonhap News report.

This makes for a take-up rate of more than 10,000 new subscribers a day ó an indication of how eager consumers are for a service that is double the speed of SK Telecomís LTE service and a whopping ten times faster than a standard 3G network.
 
Late last month, SK Telecom unveiled the worldís first LTE-Advanced network which went live in Seoul and a further 42 cities across the Gyeonggi-do and Chungcheong-do districts. The latest Yonhap News report says the network is now available in Seoul and 43 other major cities in South Korea.
 
The service will offer speeds of up to 150 Mbps, with SK Telecom saying that a 800MB movie can be downloaded in less than a minute.
 
In the Yonhap News report, SK Telecom expressed confidence that more customers will sign on to its LTE-Advanced network as smartphone manufacturers step up their game to produce phones compatible with the network. Samsung launched its Galaxy S4 LTE-A smartphone on the same day that SK Telecom took the wraps off the network with an initial batch of 200,000 units.
 
The report noted that LG Electronics and local manufacturer Pantech are planning to release smartphones running on the LTE-Advanced network soon.
 
Other telecom operators are also hopping onto the bandwagon, with LG Uplus also planning to commercialize its LTE-Advanced network this month ó which will reportedly be available in Seoul and other major cities during the third quarter of this year, and will roll out to other regions by the end of 2013.

Source: TNW.

Friday, July 19, 2013 7:14:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Sri Lanka Telecomís mobile subsidiary Mobitel says that its 4G LTE mobile broadband services are now live in Colombo, Jaffna, Kandy, Hambantota, Galle, Matara and Kalutara, following the announcement at the end of last year that the network was ready for commercial launch. Mobitelís website says that the areas currently offering LTE coverage are: Colombo (Nugegoda town, Mount Lavania town, Pamankada town, Bambalapitiya, Kollupitiya, Slave Island, Fort, Colombo University, Nugegoda Town Hall and Borella); Jaffna (Jaffna town, Jaffna University and Pallali airport); Kandy (Kandy town, Peradeniya University and Digana); Hambantota town; Galle town; Matara town; and Kalutara town; as well as the university campuses of Kelaniya and Moratuwa; and Katunayake Airport (north of Colombo).

Devices supporting LTE in the 1800MHz band may be used on the new 4G network, whilst all Mobitel users with ĎMega Internetí broadband packages can enjoy the service at no additional charge on top of their existing tariffs, using either a dongle or smartphone. Additionally, all other post-paid voice, pre-paid and post-paid broadband package subscribers (with no ĎMega Internetí plan) can use LTE free of additional charge with a smartphone only (no modem access).

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:24:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) has announced that it has activated LTE services for customers in parts of Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Newcastle and Wollongong. The company claims that speeds on the network will reach 100Mbps, faster than those of its rivals Telstra and Optus in most areas due to it having access to 2◊20MHz of contiguous spectrum in the 1800MHz band, unlike its competitors. ĎVodafone customers in 4G areas with compatible devices will have access to speeds that are among the fastest, not only in the country, but in many parts of the world,í said VHA CEO Bill Morrow in a statement. The cellco says that for now only existing subscribers who have 4G compatible devices will be able to sign up for the new service, but noted that it will begin signing up new customers in July.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:20:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
SK Telecom announced that it today launched the world's first LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) service through smartphones. SK Telecom's LTE-A covers the entire Seoul, central areas of 42 cities in Gyeonggi-do and Chungcheong-do, and 103 university areas. Furthermore, the company will gradually expand its LTE-A coverage to 84 cities across the nation. The company achieved such a milestone in only less than two years after commercializing the nation's first LTE service in July 2011. LTE-A offers ultra-fast network speeds of up to 150 Mbps, which is two times faster than that of LTE, and 10 times faster than 3G network. For instance, LTE-A users can download an 800MB movie in just 43 seconds. With the commercialization of LTE-A, the company expects to further improve customer satisfaction in mobile Internet services, and increase the use of ultra fast video contents and other diverse mobile value added services.

Source: SK Telecom.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:12:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) has announced the outcomes from the digital dividend spectrum auction, which concluded this morning.
 
All three biddersóOptus Mobile, Telstra and TPG Internetósecured spectrum in the auction, resulting in total revenues of nearly $2 billion.
 
Four companies initially applied to participate in the auction. However, Vodafone Hutchison Australia withdrew before the auction, which started on 23 April 2013.
 
Following is a table of the auction results:

Bidder

Spectrum secured

Total price

700 MHz band*

2.5 GHz band*

Optus Mobile

2◊10 MHz
(20 MHz in total)

2◊20 MHz
(40 MHz in total)

$ 649,134,167

Telstra

2◊20 MHz
(40 MHz in total)

2◊40 MHz
(80 MHz in total)

$ 1,302,019,234

TPG Internet

Nil

2◊10 MHz
(20 MHz in total)

$13,500,000

Total spectrum sold

2◊30 MHz
(60 MHz in total)

2◊70 MHz
(140 MHz in total)

$ 1,964,653,401

Total spectrum unsold

2◊15 MHz
(30 MHz in total)

Nil

N/A

FIGURE 1: AUCTION RESULTS

*Under the allocation limits, a single bidder could not acquire more than 2◊25 MHz (50 MHz in total) in the 700 MHz band and more than 2◊40 MHz (80 MHz in total) in the 2.5 GHz band.

ĎThe auction process itself ran smoothly and resulted in the allocation of spectrum to the companies that valued it the most,í said the ACMAís Chairman, Chris Chapman.

Demand in Clock Round 1 of the auction led to three unsold lots in the 700 MHz band. In the 2.5 GHz band, demand exceeded supply in the first round but reached equilibrium at the end of Clock Round 3, at which point the clock rounds closed. This level of demand during the clock rounds meant prices payable by bidders are only marginally above reserve prices.

ĎThe auction tested the market and the auctionís conclusion is another important step toward realising Australiaís digital dividend,í said Mr Chapman.

ĎThis decades-long process of spectrum reform has already transformed the television industry, delivering greater diversity and better technical quality of television services to viewers. It will be complete when the new licences in the 700 MHz band become operational at the beginning of 2015.í

ĎBy making spectrum previously required for analog television transmissions available to meet rising demand for high-speed wireless broadband, the digital dividend auction will well position the Australian telecommunications industry to deliver fast, ubiquitous and symmetrical mobile broadband connectivity to consumers and industry,í Mr Chapman said.

Attached is the aggregate demand in each clock round (Figure 2) and the frequency assignments in each band for each successful bidder (Figure 3).

For further information about the digital dividend auction, please see the backgrounder.

For more information, please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, (02) 9334 7719 and 0434 652 063 or media@acma.gov.au.

Source: ACMA.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:52:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 08, 2013

Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries (RIL) is said to have finalized Samsung as a partner to source the Korean conglomerate's long-term evolution (LTE) technology platform for its much-talked about bundled data & voice services over high speed 4G networks across the country.

The game-changer deal that is set to shake up the Indian telecommunications market is not just restricted to Samsung's technology but goes far beyond as Samsung has agreed to offer entry-level 4G smartphones at a little over $100 (about Rs 5,500) for use with RIL's voice and high-speed internet services, said a source close to the deal. A 3G-enabled Samsung phone can be bought for around the same price today. The entry-level smartphones are likely to be sold with data packages starting at as low as Rs 100, said the source, adding that even high-end smartphones will be made available at minimum down-payments and the equated monthly installments (EMIs) will be incorporated in subsequent bills at a 0% interest rate.

Source: The Time of India.

Friday, March 08, 2013 11:18:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 04, 2013

Vodafone New Zealand has commercially launched LTE services. The service is live now in parts of Auckland, and Vodafone will expand it to more suburbs every week. LTE services will go live in parts of Christchurch in May, and parts of Wellington in August or September. To get the LTE service, customers pay an extra NZD 10 on top of their existing plan while on higher value plans the upgrade is included.

The LTE network uses equipment from Nokia Siemens Networks in the 1800MHz band. NSN supplied its Single RAN and Flexi Multiradio Base Station, as well as upgraded 2G, 3G and 4G networks with its Mobile Switching Center Server and Multimedia Gateway. In addition, the company provided its Circuit Switched FallBack voice system that enables the LTE network to transfer customers to 2G and 3G networks in order to make and receive voice calls on 4G smartphones.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, March 04, 2013 10:59:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Now that the government has decided to allow the RM200 rebate for all types of smartphones, local phone distributors and telecommunication providers are now experiencing a big jump in sales.
 
For some, problems have even cropped up: they do not have enough phones to sell because of the surge in demand.
 
The governmentís move to remove the limit to smartphones costing RM500 each or less is expected to benefit about one million youths between 21 and 30 years earning less than RM3,000 a month.

Jason Lo, Chief Executive Officer of Tune Talk Sdn Bhd, said since the announcement, demand for its smartphones has risen by over 50 per cent.
 
Tune Talk is one the service providers for the package under the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
 
ďThe announcement was a good move by the government. We receive around 10 to 15 new applications for the rebate daily and the number is rising,Ē Lo told Bernama.
 
The governmentís pro-active move also benefited Tune Talkís 800 dealers nationwide, he said.
 
ďWe do not have a problem in terms of smartphones stocks as our policy is to order only when there is a demand. Currently, demand is still under control,Ē Lo said.
 
Eddy Tay, Head of Sales at NineTology Malaysia Sdn Bhd, said youths were benefiting from the government effort to equip them with smartphones as they have more models now to choose from.
 
ďYouths these days not only purchase smartphones to communicate but also for Internet data,Ē he said.
 
With the latest announcement, Tay said demand from his distributors had increased.
 
Meanwhile, ZTE Malaysia Director of Terminal Division, Jeremy Zhao, hoped that the government could extend the campaign to not only smartphones but also to the entire list of mobile broadband products to help enrich end-user options and increase mobile broadband penetration in Malaysia.
 
ďInitially, 23 models were shortlisted, but now all smartphone vendors stand to benefit,Ē he said, adding that his company was also experiencing an increase in sales.

Source: The Malaysian Times.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 8:06:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Maxis yesterday shooed in the new year with the launch of Malaysia's first commercial LTE services in parts of the nation's Klang Valley.

The incumbent operator announced the commencement of services in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Damansara Utama, Desa Sri Hartamas, Bandar Puchong Jaya, Bandar Sunway and Cyberjaya.

Maxis, which was one of eight operators to receive a 2,600-MHz 4G license in early December, has committed to invest 500 million ringgit ($164 million) towards rolling out its LTE network over the next few years.

The company will initially be offering modem based wireless broadband services over the network. The plans come with between 3GB and 48GB of data, split evenly into peak and non-peak periods, for prices ranging from 48 ringgit ($16) to 158 ringgit.

Maxis said in a statement that service offerings will be extended to smartphones and tablets ďvery soon,Ē but did not provide further details.

CEO Sandip Das said the company will also soon be ready to provide value-added 4G enabled services to its subscribers, thanks to its ďrobust partnershipsĒ with device makers and content providers.

He said Maxis' 4G subscribers can expect real-world average speeds of between 10-Mbps and 30-Mbps.

Source: Telecom Asia.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 9:38:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) launched the worldís first converged Long Term Evolution (LTE) FDD/TDD network on 18 December as scheduled. At the official launch one of its two network technology suppliers Ericsson demonstrated the worldís first live seamless bi-directional LTE FDD/TDD interworking on the converged 4G network. Ericsson was the sole supplier for CMHKís LTE FDD network Ė which launched in April 2012 Ė while in July CMHK awarded ZTE and Ericsson contracts to expand the capacity and coverage of its 4G network by deploying LTE-TDD (TD-LTE) technology, aiming for dual-mode coverage of over 70% of the territory. According to CMHK both vendor companies have an equal share of the network construction project, with ZTE supplying equipment for the network in primary commercial areas of Hong Kong while Ericsson is responsible for the remaining areas. In its own press release Ericsson says it has delivered TD-LTE radio access infrastructure as well as network management using Ericsson OSS-RC (Operation Support System for Radio and Core) and an Evolved Packet Core network expansion and upgrade.

As part of the launch Ericsson also assisted CMHK and parent China Mobile with the first TD-LTE roaming services between Hong Kong and mainland China. The launch event showcased a series of applications based on TD-LTE data roaming between Hong Kong and Shenzhen in Chinaís Guangdong Province. The demonstration was supported by the LTE FDD/TDD converged commercial network in Hong Kong, as well as the TD-LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC), In-Building Solution (IBS) site and universal SIM (USIM) deployed by Ericsson in Shenzhen. The demonstration showcased real-time high-definition video interaction between the two cities on TD-LTE networks for the first time, involving the LTE FDD/TDD dual-mode terminal in Hong Kong providing roaming to Shenzhen, as well as the TD-LTE terminal in Shenzhen providing roaming to Hong Kong.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 9:35:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 20, 2012

Japanese-owned NTT Com Asia has landed the Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE) fibre cable in Hong Kong, where it has set a target commercial launch date by the end of the first quarter of 2013. ASE connects Hong Kong to Japan, Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia, and launched services on this four-country route in August 2012. The 7,800km fibre system (including the 300km section to Hong Kong), cost USD430 million to build.

As shown on TeleGeographyís Submarine Cable map site (based on the research firmís Global Bandwidth Research Service), ASE is the eighth high speed undersea cable system landed in Hong Kong, with two others pending. The other seven existing cables are: APCN-2; Asia-America Gateway (AAG); EAC-C2C; FLAG North Asia Loop/REACH North Asia Loop; FLAG Europe-Asia (FEA); SeaMeWe-3; and Tata TGN-Intra Asia (TGN-IA). Two other planned systems are: Southeast Asia Japan Cable (SJC) and Asia Pacific Gateway (APG).

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:27:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 14, 2012

China Unicom is going through a critical transformation as the operator is shifting its focus to its data business. Weak domestic demand is putting pressure on traditional mobile services such as voice and SMS, company chairman Chang Xiaobing told the China Daily in an interview. However, the data business, supported by the growing popularity of smartphones, is growing quickly. "China Unicom has come to a point where it has to transform itself," Chang said. "We may face difficulties in the transition, but China Unicom has the confidence and the capability to overcome those."

Source: Telecom Paper.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:32:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Japanese cable operator Jupiter Telecommunications (J:Com) grew its customer base to approximately 3.72 million in October, up 3.5 percent year-on-year. Combined revenue generating units (RGUs) for cable television, internet access, and telephony services reached 7.50 million, up 6.8 percent from October 2011. Furthermore, the bundle ratio increased to 2.02 from 1.95 a year earlier. J:Com had 3.11 million cable TV subscribers, up 1.8 percent year-on-year. The company also had 1.95 million internet subscribers, up 8.7 percent and the number of telephony customers grew 12.4 percent to 2.44 million.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:30:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 16, 2012
The government has garnered just Rs 9,407 crore, less than a quarter of what it expected, as the much hyped second generation (2G) airwaves auctions evoked a tepid response from mobile phone companies, exacerbating concerns about the Centre's ability to meet its fiscal deficit target

Norway's Telenor and Videocon, which had lost pan-India permits when the Supreme Court quashed all permits issued by former telecoms minister A Raja, won back their licences in six circles each, and will shell out Rs 2,222 crore and Rs 4,018 crore respectively. Telenor emerged as the largest bidder in the auctions.

Source: The Economic Times.

Friday, November 16, 2012 1:36:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bharti Airtel has posted revenue for its fiscal second quarter ending 30 September of INR202.7 billion (USD3.7 billion), up by more than 17% year-on-year. The growth in sales comes on the back of an 11% increase in the companyís total consolidated subscriber base to 262.6 million, almost 60 million of which are in Africa. Bharti also revealed that its mobile data revenues in its home market of India soared 77% year-on-year. However, net income for the three months under review plunged 30% to INR7.2 billion as operating costs relating to network investment increased, and losses from the African division widened. The company has now posted declining net income for each of the last eleven quarters.

Commenting on the results, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman & Managing Director of Bharti Airtel, said: ĎDespite a seasonally weak quarter, I am pleased to see that our overall revenue growth has sustained through diversified segments and geographies as well as the continuing healthy demand in data services. I am also happy to note that in India, the much needed market corrections in customer acquisition practices have been put in place by the operators. Our African operations continue to reflect sustained and steady growth on all major parameters of revenues, profitability and cash flowí.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:09:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Philippine mobile operator Smart Communications has linked its Manila cell sites via fibre optic cable. The operator has connected 100 percent of cell sites in metro Manila to the PLDT group's fibre infrastructure as part of its Fiber in the Loop (FITL) project. The operator also announced that it has made its LTE broadband service available in more cities across metro Manila. Some ten cities are now covered by LTE, the company said.


Source: Telecompaper.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 1:50:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The mobile base in Bangladesh grew to 98.47 million in September from 95.53 million in August. Grameenphone led the market with 40.95 million customers, versus 39.80 million a month earlier, followed by Banglalink with 26.78 million subscribers, up from 25.74 million in August, according to figures from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). Robi Axiata grew its subscriber base to 20.80 million from 20.14 million and Airtel Bangladesh ended September with 6.89 million customers, compared with 6.78 million a month earlier. However, Citycell's subscriber base was flat at 1.68 million while Teletalk ended the month with 1.37 million customers, same as a month earlier.

Source: Telecompaper.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 1:48:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Bangladeshi government announced that it will hold a 3G spectrum licence auction early next year and expects customers to be able to use 3G services by the middle of 2013, The Daily Star reported online. The 3G auction guidelines will be finalised by December after consultation with stakeholders, the auction should be held in January or February of next year, said Sunil Kanti Bose, secretary at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.

Bose said this after the first consultation meeting was held on 11 October by the telecommunication ministry, in the presence of a Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) official, for the four private mobile operators. At the meeting, the operators asked the ministry to reduce the starting price for the auction from the proposed USD 30 million per 1 MHz of the spectrum. Bose said the ministry is consulting with the Finance Ministry in this regard. He also said the price will be finalised after taking into consideration neighbouring countries' experiences and Bangladesh's socio-economic situation.

 

The draft guidelines say the auction will involve 10 MHz spectrum from the 2,100 MHz frequency band, but the operators would like to purchase 5 MHz of the spectrum to save costs. Given the exponential rise in demand for data and the fact that Bangladesh is a populous country, 5 MHz spectrum bands would yield poor quality of service, according to Bose. A total of five 3G licences are available, of which three have been assigned for the current private operators, one for state-owned Teletalk, and one for a new entrant

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:17:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 29, 2012

Pakistan Telecommunication (PTCL) has reached a milestone of first 100,000 broadband DSL users in the Gujranwala region. PTCL Broadband service was launched in 2007.

Monday, October 29, 2012 3:54:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The advent of full commercial 3G services and the busy roll-out of smartphones are putting intense pressure on mobile operators and triggering a data price war, reports the Bangkok Post. Stiff competition is expected to spur overall mobile handset sales in Thailand to top 20 million units in 2013, up from 14 million this year. Sales of smartphones are set to reach 6 million units this year, while the total smartphone installed base will top 12 million units.

At the four-day Thailand Mobile Expo, Advanced Info Service (AIS) and True Move are introducing promotional data bundle prices, starting at THB 399 per month. Operators are also offering ten-month instalment payment plans, with AIS offering as much as twenty-month instalments at the four-day event at Queen National Sirikit Convention Centre.

Total Access Communication is offering subsidised smartphones with discounts of up to 50 percent on some models. The price of the BlackBerry Torch 9860 has slidden to THB 9,900 from THB 15,900, while the Nokia Lumia 900 has dropped to THB 11,900 from THB 18,900. Samsung is offering bundled packages with the three mobile operators at THB 22,900. LG also launched its pre-booking Optimus Vu priced at THB 18,900. Tablet prices are being offered at discounts of 30-50 percent, ahead of the arrival of Windows-based tablets later this month.

Source: Telecompaper.

Monday, October 29, 2012 3:50:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

State-backed telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has announced plans to roll out 1,140km of optical fibre in the Tamil Nadu circle to improve connectivity for voice and data services, Business Line reports. Of the total, 200km has already been deployed whilst a further 500km is currently being installed. The entire project is due to be completed by March 2013.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:42:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

State-backed telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is aiming to book total revenues of INR300 billion (USD5.735 billion) for the year ending 31 March 2013. Business Today reports that the telco recorded revenues of INR279.34 billion in 2011-2012 and INR296.88 billion a year earlier. The company has seen a steady fall in sales, dropping from INR401.77 billion in the twelve months to end-March 2006, though chairman and managing director Rakesh Kumar Upadhyay was optimistic about the target adding: ĎApart from pure telecom services, we are working out additional scheme[s] which should act as additional sources of revenue for BSNLBSNL has also selected Alcatel Lucent and ZTE to carry out work to expand coverage and increase the capacity of the operatorís GSM network by 14.37 million, Upadhyay said.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:40:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 01, 2012

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) in Nepal has announced plans to use NPR5.63 billion (USD66.9 million) from the stateís Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF) to expand the provision of fibre-optic services to more remote parts of the country. MyRepublica reports that the rollout programme is being carried out under the auspices of the Kingdomís ĎDistrict Optical Fiber Projectí, and that it has assigned a committee to oversee the scheme which will target making improvements in the quality of voice and data services in certain rural areas. The ambitious District Optical Fibre Network Project is aiming to construct a high speed data service, offering 256kbps bandwidth in 38 districts and their rural communities by 2014.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 12:52:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) I-Mobile Plus, a subsidiary of Samart Corporation, has been awarded a five-year contract by state telco TOT for exclusive rights to 40% of 3G network capacity to be resold to end-users under TOTís new business model. As reported by the Bangkok Post, TOT board chairman Panthep Chamrasromran announced that I-Mobile Plus must pay TOT a guaranteed minimum revenue of THB156 million (USD4.9 million) for the first year and THB476 million for the second, and the MVNO is targeting 860,000 3G subscribers in the first year of operations and 1.81 million in the second year. Previously, Samart I-Mobile (I-Mobile 3GXí) was amongst a group of five MVNOs reselling 3G services over TOTís HSPA network under one-year contracts, alongside Loxley (i-kool), IEC Technology (IEC 3G), 365 Communication (365 3G) and M Consult Asia (Mojo 3G).

Mr Panthep confirmed TOT is also in talks with Loxley to retail 20% of 3G network capacity, while for the remaining 40% of capacity, he said that TOT would not require a guaranteed minimum revenue; prospective MVNOs for this portion include IEC Technology, 365 Communication, M Consult Asia, Acumen and Jasmine Telecom Systems.

Panthep also said TOT aims to increase its number of 3G base stations from a current 2,300 to 5,320 in October. TOT has site sharing agreements with Advanced Info Service (AIS) covering 800 base stations, and an additional 300 shared sites agreed with True Move. TOTís board will discuss a second phase of 3G network expansion on 26 July.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:45:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Bangladesh ended May with 92.12 million mobile subscribers, up from 90.64 million in April. Grameenphone led with 38.41 million, up from 37.75 million a month earlier, followed by Banglalink with 25.25 million customers, up from 25.00 million, according to data from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). Robi Axiata raised its subscriber base to 18.73 million from 18.24 million and Airtel Bangladesh ended May with 6.67 million subscribers, versus 6.54 million in April. Citycell saw its subscriber base slip to 1.71 million from 1.80 million and Teletalk ended May with 1.34 million customers, up from 1.30 million in the previous month.


Source: Telecompaper.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:11:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Cambodian wireless operator Smart Mobile has announced that it signed up its three millionth customer in May 2012, five months after crossing the two million subscriber mark at the start of the year. The cellco said that by the end of May, its mobile customer base had increased to 3.24 million, placing it second in the market in terms of users behind Vietnamese-owned Metfone, according to TeleGeographyís GlobalComms Database. ĎIt is another milestone we have achieved and we are very happy to see this growth,í said Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Mobile, adding: ĎConsidering that Smart Mobile is still a comparably young player in this market, launched commercially in February 2009, it is a massive endorsement to us by our subscribers to have reached the number two position within only three years and three months since the commercial launchÖ We are highly committed to keep investing into the network to cater the constantly growing demand but also to further innovate by introducing new products and services.í The press release adds that Smart Mobileís GSM/GPRS/EDGE network currently covers around 87% of the population and is present in all 24 provinces, while coverage of the cellcoís HSPA+ mobile broadband network, which was commercially launched in August 2011, has grown from 14 provinces at the start of 2012 to parts of all 24 provinces six months later.

Smart Mobile (owned by Latelz, a subsidiary of Cyprus-based and Russian-owned Timeturns Holdings) became Cambodiaís eighth mobile operator when it launched commercial GSM services in Phnom Penh and Siem Riep in early 2009. At the start of 2011 Smart Mobile merged its operations with Applifone, the local unit of Swedish telecoms group TeliaSonera, under the Smart Mobile brand. TeliaSoneraís 75.5%-owned unit TeliaSonera Asia Holding owns 25% of the new company, and Latelz the remaining 75%.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 4:08:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

True Corpís fixed line and broadband division, True Online, says that it will invest around THB8 billion (USD250 million) in the short term in its True Internet broadband operations, with the expenditure going towards projects including expanding high speed infrastructure to serve businesses in provincial areas. Bangkok-based True, which is the broadband market leader in the capital in terms of subscribers, plans to cover 36 provinces by the end of 2012 with high speed fixed network services, and 61 of Thailandís 77 administrative regions (76 provinces plus Bangkok) by the end of next year, before continuing the rollout nationwide. The expansion plan was announced by Charoen Limkangwanmongkol, chief commercial officer of True Online, and reported by Thai newspaper The Nation. TeleGeographyís GlobalComms Database says that True Onlineís DOCSIS 3-based HFC cable broadband network passed 1.1 million homes in 20 provinces by February 2012, up from 16 provinces including the Bangkok Metropolitan Area in October 2011, and while the majority of Trueís 1.4 million broadband subscribers were on its xDSL networks in Bangkok and other areas as of the end of March 2012, this is changing as the quadruple-play group concentrates on expanding its HFC cable network, which also supports its TrueVisions high-definition pay-TV services.

True Internet expects to grow its internet access revenues by around a third to THB8.5 billion this year, broken down as THB1.5 billion from corporate services and THB7 billion in the consumer segment, with Bangkok expected to contribute 85% of turnover and the provinces 15% over the twelve months. It is also focusing on winning corporate customers in the hotel, hospital, education and real estate sectors, The Nationís report added. The fixed broadband unit has around 3,000 large corporate clients, or around a third of approximately 9,000 corporations using high speed services nationwide, according to its own reckoning, and it expects the corporate internet market to grow by 12% this year. General manager of True Internet, Vasu Khunvasi, said: ĎWe have major competitors, [Triple T Broadbandís] 3BB and [state-owned] TOT, in the upcountry market. However, the upcountry market has high potential, since it is a start-up market. The firm will utilise network infrastructure and one-stop services to expand its customer base upcountry.í

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 4:03:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), the nationís largest operator by subscribers and revenues, said yesterday that it passed the three million-mark for broadband subscribers in the first quarter of this year. Napoleon Nazareno, PLDT and Smart president and CEO, said that his company currently leads the broadband segment in the Philippines, with revenues from high speed fixed and mobile internet services increasing 34% year-on-year to PHP5.8 billion (USD134.7 million) Ė equivalent to 14% of consolidated service revenues. Broken down by technology, PLDT DSL generated PHP2.6 billion in revenue in 1Q12, up 15% y-o-y, while the groupís mobile arm Smart contributed PHP1.7 billion from its wireless broadband services and newly acquired unit, Digitel (Sun Cellular) chipped in with a further PHP800 million. PLDT and its group subsidiaries controlled around 65% of the overall retail broadband market at the end of March 2012, he added.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 3:50:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 27, 2012

State-owned national PTO Vietnam Post and Telecommunications (VNPT) will stop providing dial-up internet access next month, due to falling demand for the service. Tuoitrenews reports that VNPT has obtained approval from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to end the service from 15 July 2012, and the operator will focus on the provision of its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) ĎFiberVNNí and ADSL ĎMegaVNNí broadband internet services.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:28:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Macauís Bureau of Telecommunications Regulation (DSRT) has postponed the countryís planned switch-off of 2G services for Macanese subscribers to 1 January 2013, from the previous deadline of 9 July 2012. Cellcos in the Chinese Special Administrative Region (SAR) will provide exclusively 3G services to their subscribers from the start of next year, with their 2G networks to be restricted to offering roaming-only services for tourists from that date. TeleGeographyís GlobalComms Database shows the penetration of 3G services in Macau reached 95% of all mobile subscribers in the territory at the end of March 2012, when there were 1.35 million 3G customers. The regulator stated that there were 30,000 remaining 2G subscribers at the end of May 2012, and noted that some residents remained concerned about the full transition to 3G service, and therefore decided to allow more time to complete the switchover.

The SARís largest cellco, Companhia de Telecomunicacoes de Macau (CTM) said that it welcomed the DSRTís decision to extend local 2G services until the end of this year, giving more time for Ďresidents to get acquainted to 3G service while enabling telecom operators and the government to further discuss the service transition in details in accordance with the actual response of the market.í CTM added it was making efforts to help senior citizens and members of vulnerable groups in society to complete 3G network migration, with special packages offered including ĎCTM Elderly Buddyí.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 1:36:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 12, 2011

Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel), South-East Asiaís biggest telecoms group by revenues and users, today announced that its total mobile subscriber base grew by 37%, or 110 million users, in the year to 31 March 2011, passing the 400 million customer mark for the first time in the process. At that date SingTel and its affiliates in Asia and Africa counted 402.5 million mobile subscribers, up from around 293 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement. The group is active in eight major markets in the region Ė Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. SingTelís 32%-owned Indian venture, Bharti Airtel, reported a 66% year-on-year rise in mobile customers in Asia and Africa to reach 212 million as of 31 March 2011. In its home market, Bharti added a net 27% new users for a total of 162 million. The cellcoís strong performance should be further bolstered in 2011 by the launch of 3G services in 21 cities across seven telecom circles in the first quarter, it said.

SingTelís Indonesian asset Telkomsel added 5.4 million net new users in 1Q11 for a total of 99.4 million, while AIS Thailand, in which SingTel holds 21%, reported y-o-y growth of 8% to 32 million. Other positive performances were registered in the Philippines where Globe recorded 14% net growth to 27.3 million subscribers in Pakistan, where Waridís base climbed 9% to 17.8 million, and in Bangladesh, where PBTL closed out March with 1.8 million users (up 6% from a year ago). SingTelís wholly owned Australian unit Optus added 103,000 net new users in January-March, for a total of 9.068 million, and at home, SingTel Mobile had 3.307 million users, compared to 3.116 million in 1Q10.

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, May 12, 2011 9:49:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 04, 2009

The customer registration programme instituted by Pakistani regulator the PTA began to take effect in Q3 08, and growth in that period slumped to less than a third of that recorded in Q3 07. The final quarter of the year saw an even worse result, the total declining by 0.30m to finish on 89.91m.

Although all of Pakistan's six operators appear to have been affected to some degree by the disconnection of unregistered customers, market leader Mobilink (Orascom) was by far the hardest hit. It lost 0.67m customers in Q3 and 2.88m in Q4, and finished the year with 28.48m, down 7.0% annually. January and February saw continued losses, a two-month decline of 0.36m taking its total customer base to 28.12m. Its market share at the end of February was 30.7%, a 13-year low.

Pakistan: Monthly Net Additions

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, May 04, 2009 10:49:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Telecom has announced the commercial launch of its new CDMA-based 3G network. The cellcoís EV-DO network covers 52 Chinese cities, including eight of the countryís ten largest. Huawei Technologies provided the infrastructure. Rival cellco China Unicom is deploying W-CDMA as its 3G platform, while the leading operator by subscribers China Mobile, is rolling out a TD-SCDMA network.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, May 04, 2009 10:46:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Bangladesh subscriber base has grown to  45.75 million in March from 45.21 million at the end of February, according to the statistics given by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

GrameenPhone is leading the market with 21.05 million subscribers in comparison to 20.94 million in February. Followed to this is Banglalink which ended March with 10.83 subscribers, up from 10.70 million last month.

Aktel reported a subscriber base of 8.76 million, an increase from 8.59 million a month before. Warid Telecom subscriber base has grown from 2.20 million to 2.26 million,  CityCell reports 1.87 million subscribers from 1.85 million last month, followed with Teletalk, whose subscriber base mounts to 0.98 million from 0.93 million a month earlier.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, May 04, 2009 10:41:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Commerce Commission of New Zealand (ComCom) has released its annual telecoms monitoring report, announcing that over USD882 million was spent on capital investment in 2008. The expenditure was largely accounted for by Telecom New Zealand updating its existing infrastructure to accommodate its strategic transition to an all-IP network, and NZ Communications, New Zealandís long awaited third mobile operator Ė having secured 3G spectrum in 2001, rolling out the first stages of its mobile network.

The report also states that broadband subscriptions reached 915,000 by the end of December 2008, with Telecom NZ holding a 57% share of the overall market, a 4% drop since 2007. The mobile sector reported a 16% rise in call minutes over the course of the year, with mobile penetration reaching 111.9% at the end of December 2008, according to TeleGeographyís GlobalComms database.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, May 04, 2009 10:35:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hong Kongís mobile data usage surged to 147 TB in January or an average 44 MB per 2.5G/3G mobile user, according the statistics available from Ofta. This shows four times and fourteen times the mobile data usage over the same period in 2008 and 2007 respectively. The subscribers of 2.5G/3G mobile phone have grown by 15% to 3.35 million in January on a year-on-year basis. The subscriber base totals to 11.43 million and penetration rate is over 163%. The growth of mobile data usage is attributable to the offer of competitive service packages by mobile network operators and the increasing popularity of smartphones available in the market, Ofta said.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, May 04, 2009 10:33:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 27, 2009

­The Asia Pacific region contains five of the worldís ten largest mobile markets Ė China and India, which are the number one and two respectively and Indonesia, Japan and Pakistan, the sixth, eighth and tenth largest. These five occupy the top five places in the regional list, which is completed through the addition of the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea and Bangladesh.

 

Click here to see full article

During 2008, Indonesia overtook Japan to become the regionís third largest market with a total of 140.2m connections. Japanís grip on fourth place is loosening, with Pakistan the main challenger Ė even though that market saw a slight reduction in numbers in Q4 as unregistered customers were culled. Japan added just over 5m connections to reach 105.8m, while Pakistan ended with 89.9m. The Philippines retains sixth place, with 68.1m customers, but it is likely to drop behind Vietnam in 2009. The market here is being liberalised (if that is the right word for a process which awards ever more licences to entities that are all, ultimately, state-controlled) and demand is rising rapidly. The market as a whole added over 30m new connections for a total of 67.2m, to become the regionís seventh largest, ahead of Thailand, which had begun the year in seventh place and added nearly 9m connections over the year to close with 61.9m. Ninth and tenth places go to South Korea (down from eighth, with 45.6m) and Bangladesh (unchanged, with 45.2m).

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, April 27, 2009 8:48:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Taiwan ended Q4'08 with a mobile subscriber base of 25.41 million, reports National Communications Commission. The data showed a rise of 4.6% as the operators added a total of 1.13 million subscribers since DecemberĀf07. The country had a mobile penetration of 110.3% at the end of Q4'08.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 12:37:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Credit card merchant, Visa has announced the launch of the worldís first commercial Visa mobile payments service for point-of-sale transactions using Near Field Communications (NFC) technology. The service marks the first time consumers can purchase an NFC-enabled mobile device off the shelf and use that device to make Visa payWave-enabled transactions at the point-of-sale instead of using their payment card.

ďWe believe that Visaís NFC mobile payment launch in Malaysia signals a tipping point for the payments industry globally as we move from mobile payment pilots to commercial availability,Ē said Elizabeth Buse, Global Head of Product at Visa. ďMalaysia has historically been an early adopter of new payment technologies. The launch of Visaís first commercial NFC program in Malaysia is based on Visa's experience gained from undertaking extensive pilot activities around the globe and is something Visa plans to replicate in other places around the world.Ē

Maxis Ė the largest wireless carrier in Malaysia with more than 11 million subscribers, Nokia and Maybank Ė a leading financial institution in Malaysia have teamed with Visa to offer Visa payWave on mobile devices.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 12:20:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 17, 2009

The number of telephone subscribers (fixed and mobile) in Nepal topped 5.5 million as at March 2009, up around 45% year-on-year, according to data published by the telecoms regulator the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA). Of the total, 622,667 were fixed line connections either to Nepal Telecom (NT, 551,566), United Telecom Ltd (UTL, 67,378), or STM Telecom (3,723), while a further 60,171 were signed up to UTLís limited mobility service. Mobile still accounts for the overwhelming majority of connections however, totalling 4.167 million by last month. The mobile market leader is, once again, NT with 2.357 million subscribers, ahead of Spice Nepal (Mero Mobile) with 1.810 million. The NTA also reported a smattering of other connections including NTís CDMA and Sky Phone services (177,808 and 484,726 respectively), Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite (GMPCS, 1,517) and W-CDMA (664). The gains have pushed overall telecoms penetration in the country to 20.45%, broken down as fixed (2.31%), mobile (15.45%) and other (2.69%). At the same date there were a total of 76,502 internet subscribers, including 13,893 ADSL users.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, April 17, 2009 5:11:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Taiwan's mobile phone market is forecast to shrink by 9.3% to around 6.4 million units. The Taipei-based Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC) puts the shrinkage down to slower handset replacements due to the economic downturn. Some 80% of the Taiwanese market depends on replacement sales.

Click here to see full article

As for the Taiwanese mobile phone market in 2008, with the exception of the first quarter which saw year-on-year growth in sales, the other three quarters all posted sales declines compared with the same periods in the previous year. Taiwanese mobile phone market volume in the fourth quarter of 2008 was 1.70 million units, down 5.9% sequentially and 4.7% year-on-year. Taiwanese mobile phone ASP (Average Selling Price) was on the decline as well, mainly owing to the fact that Taiwanese mobile phone users mostly chose to obtain free phones when renewing their subscriptions.

Meanwhile, the number of 3G subscribers saw steady growth in 2008. Boosted by mobile operators' subsidy policies for 3G phones and Smartphones, the sales of 3G phones accounted for 49.7% of the overall Taiwanese mobile phone market volume, while the sales of Smartphones inched up to over 5% of the overall market volume.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, April 17, 2009 4:29:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 16, 2009

Japanese mobile operators reported a subscriber base of 107.49 million, added 1 million new subscribers. Softbank is leading the market with a net addition of 381,700 subscribers, ended the month with 20.63 million subscribers. Followed to this is NTT DoCoMo with a net addition of 278,200, taking its total subscriber base to 54.6 million. The incumbent added 1,100 2in1 plan customers to reach 459,300 subscribers. Emobile signed up 121,900 new subscribers bringing its total to 1.41 million. KDDI has gained 223,100 and ended March with 30.84 million subscribers in total. PHS provider Willcom added 6,100 subscribers in March to reach a total of 4.56 million subscribers.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, April 16, 2009 8:40:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 15, 2009

­It has been reported that the 3G network launched late last year in North Korea has already signed up some 20,000 subscribers. The Japan based, pro-North Korea newspaper, Choson Sinbo reported the figures noting that the customers include foreigners allowed to work in the country.

Last year, the Orascom Telecom, which owns 75% of the mobile network holding company, said that it expects to sign up an initial 100,000 subscribers when it launches its network.

The web based publication confirmed that the network coverage had expanded outside the capital city, Pyongyang and now included the main road running up to the Northern city of Hyangsan (noted for its pyramid shaped hotel). National coverage is expected by 2012.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009 1:55:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 06, 2009

Nepalís incumbent fixed line operator, state-owned Nepal Telecom (NT), has launched an ambitious network rollout project designed to connect even the remotest parts of the country with telephone lines. According to a report from local newspaper Republika, the project began in late January this year with the aim of bridging the so-called Ďdigital divideí between rural and urban areas. Although the government has long championed its quest to provide telecoms facilities to all the nationís village development communities (VDCs), so far more than 500 of the total of 3,914 VDCs do not have a single fixed or mobile connection. The topography of the mountainous region presents a particular challenge to NT whose chief of satellite services, Anup Ranjan Bhattarai, says it will rely on satellite links to expand telecoms access.

Since starting the new rollout, the incumbent says it has deployed VSATs in ten VDCs in western and mid-western Nepal, where it can register up to four fixed phone connections and an additional line for internet access. The company is also installing cellular-based technology to boost telecoms access. So far it has installed wireless networks in a dozen VDCs in eastern, western and mid-western Nepal operating on both the GSM and CDMA standards.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, April 06, 2009 9:32:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Pakistan mobile subscriber base has raised to 91.008 million in February 2009, growing from 90.703 million in January, reports PTA. Mobile density in Pakistan hiked to 56.50%, up from 56.30% in January.

Mobilink, the market leader, saw a drop in mobile subscriber base which fell from 28.315 million to 28.116 million whereas Telenor jumped to the second position with a subscriber base of 19.842 million, up from 19.657 million in January. Ufone grabbed the third position with 19.497 million subscribers, up from 19.415 million in January followed by Warid which ended Februaryí09 with a subscriber base of 17.251 million. Zong stood at the last position with 5.979 million subscribers.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, April 06, 2009 9:27:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced that it has invested USD100 million in Cambodian network operator CamGSM (Mobitel). It is hoped that the funds will help to stimulate competition and strengthen the countryís telecoms sector, through the expansion of CamGSMís network to rural areas. Interim CEO of the cellco, Jeffrey Noble, said: ĎThe IFC is providing long-term financing, which is not readily accessible in frontier markets like Cambodia. This is a wonderful vote of confidence in the country at a time when the impact of the global recession has started to affect the economy. The IFCís reputation has also brought in other international banks, which should attract more such important financing to the country.í As part of the initiative, CamGSM aims to add an additional two million subscribers by 2010, and to help businesses grow by providing them with better mobile internet coverage.

According to TeleGeographyís GlobalComms database, CamGSM is jointly owned by Luxembourg's Millicom International Cellular (58.4%) and the Royal Group of Cambodia (41.6%). At the end of 2008 it was the largest wireless operator by subscribers in Cambodia, with a total of 2.12 million customers, and a market share of 54.1%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:29:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Korea Times reports that the countryís VoIP subscriber base passed the three million mark earlier this month, up from 2.5 million at the end of 2008. ĎWith the improvement in number portability policies, the number of VoIP users will rise by an even faster clip after May,' said an official from the regulator, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC). Five million VoIP subscribers are expected by the end of 2009.

LG Dacom, which had only 336,000 traditional telephony users at the end of February, leads the VoIP market with 1.32 million subscribers, stretching its lead over Samsung Networks and KT Corp, who have around 400,000 each. Korea Cable Telecom (KCT) boasts 300,000 VoIP subscribers, while SK Broadband has just over 270,000.

KT Corp, the dominant traditional fixed line operator, has been reluctant in the past to commit to VoIP over concerns that PSTN to VoIP migration would result in a decline in overall ARPU. However, in the first two months of the year its PSTN customer base fell by more than 250,000 to 19.62 million, and its continued decline is thought to have finally convinced KT to embrace VoIP.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:15:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to the data revealed by telecoms regulator, Indian mobile firms have added 13.45 million subscribers in February, a performance bettered only by Januaryís record signings of 15.41 million. The country ends February with a subscriber base of 375.74 million, up 3.7% in comparison with January.

  • Bharti Airtel (BRTI.BO) added 2.7 million mobile users in February, taking its total to 91.11 million.
  • Reliance Communications, added 3.3 million mobile subscribers in February, taking its total to 69.64 million.
  • Third-ranked Vodafone Essar added up 2.6 million users in February, taking its total to 65.92 million.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:14:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 23, 2009

India's telecoms regulator has published the connection figures for February, noting that a total of 13.42 million telephone connections (Wireline and Wireless) have been added during February 2009 as compared to 15.26 million connections added in January 2009.

The total number of telephone connections reaches 413.47 million at the end of February 2009 as compared to 400.05 million in January 2009. With this growth, the overall tele-density has reached 35.62 at the end of February 2009 as against 34.50 in January 2009.

The total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & WLL(F)) base stood at 375.74 million at the end of February 2009. A total of 13.44 million wireless subscribers have been added during the month of February 2009 as against 15.41 million wireless subscribers added during the month of January 2009.

In the wireline segment, the subscriber base has decreased to 37.73 million in the month of February 2009 as against 37.75 million subscribers in January 2009 registering a drop of 0.02 million.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, March 23, 2009 1:02:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Twenty public elementary schools in Ilagan, Isabela, Philippines are now capable of accessing interactive, multimedia educational videos through the use of mobile phones.

Text2Teach is a program that makes use of mobile technology so that schools can have access to rich multi media videos. It aims to improve the quality of teaching in grades 5 and 6 in public elementary schools by providing highly interactive, easy to use multi media packages designed to help make learning more exciting and meaningful among students.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, March 23, 2009 12:46:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Fiji telcos now get the freedom of formulating their own mobile and fixed-line charges as the interim Government withdraws the price control order imposed in 2008.

According to the Interim Attorney General and Telecommunications Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, the termination of price control will enable a free market in the country. ďThis basically means the price control board will no longer be in place but the market itself will decide on the price that is to be set within the market,Ē Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:40:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistan's Universal Service Fund (USF) and Telenor have entered into a Rs. 930 million (US$11.6 million) contract to provide basic telephony and data services to the population in the yet un-served areas of Sanghar, Tharparkar Umerkot and Mirpur Khas districts.

Click here to see full article

At the occasion Jon Eddy Abdullah said, "We, at Telenor Pakistan believe in breaking socio-economic barriers through use of communication technology, especially in remote areas of the country. We stand firm in our commitment for more such ventures with support of Government of Pakistan and Ministry of IT."

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:31:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 16, 2009

The global economic recession and slowdown seems to have no effect on the mobile usage in India as the country adds 9.18 million GSM subscribers in the month of February to its subscriber base, taking the total to 277.1 million subscribers at the end of February.

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:52:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistanís mobile subscriber base bounced back to its growth level in the month of January driven by the campaign run by the regulator to register subscribers.

According to the figures revealed by PTA, the mobile subscriber base in Pakistan grew to 90.703 million at January-end, rising from 89.907 million in December.

Countryís leading mobile operator, Mobilinkís subscriber base dipped to 28.315 million in January from 28.480 million in December whereas Telenor experienced a rise in its subscriber base from 19.388 million in December to 19.657 million in January. Ufone retained its third position with a subscriber base of 19.415 million, rising from 19.301 million in December. Warid and Zong followed Ufone with a subscriber base of 17.144 million and 5.852 million respectively.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, March 16, 2009 9:49:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 12, 2009

Indonesian CDMA operators Mobile-8 Telecom and Smart Telecom have launched commercial CDMA2000 1xEV-DO services to counter 3G/W-CDMA offerings of rival cellcos such as Telkomsel, Indosat and Excelcomindo (XL). According to a report from CNETAsia, Mobile-8 Telecom has introduced its ĎMobií high speed mobile broadband package and Smart Telecom is matching it with ĎJumpí; both services offer theoretical data transmission speeds of 3.1Mbps (download) and 1.8Mbps (upload) the report said. Mobile-8 utilises 1x and EV-DO technology in the 800MHz frequency band, and is offering a Pantech PX-500 PCMCIA modem with 1GB quota for the Mobi service which is priced at IDR499 (USD41) per month. Deddy Irawan, head of Data Business for Mobile-8 Telecom told reporters that in the near future the company Ďwill launch a USB-based modem with the same price.í

Meanwhile, Smart Telecom leverages 1x and EV-DO-Rev A technology using spectrum in the 1900MHz band and is bundling an Axesstel modem and 6GB access quota with a Ďpre-paidí package for IDR789. Initial tests have proved favourable for both services, although critics note that both Mobi and Jump currently have issues in terms of coverage.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:29:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China, according to the new statistics unveiled by MIIT, had a mobile subscriber base of 649.7 million at the end of January 2009. Chinaís three leading mobile operators together added 8.49 million new subscribers in January, growing at a constant pace.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:13:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Japanís mobile subscriber base totalled to 106.48 million, with the net addition of 387,500 new subscribers in Feb, according to the figures from Telecommunications Carrier Association (TCA). Softbank Mobile signed up 131,000 new subscribers and ended the month with 20.25 million subscribers.

Subsequent to Softbank, NTT subscriber base reached 54.32 million, adding 103,100 new subscribers. The operator lost 5000 2in1 plan customers to reach 458,200 subscribers. Emobile added 96,500 new subscribers, total reached 1.28 million subscribers. KDDI gained 56,900 new customers and ended February with 30.62 million customers in total. PHS provider Willcom signed up 8300 new subscribers, base totalled to 4.56 million at the end-February.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:12:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 11, 2009

According to new figures from Hong Kong's telecoms regulator OFTA, the number of 3G mobile service users in the Special Administrative Region (SAR) reached more than 2.8 million at the end of 2008, up by 40% from around two million at the beginning of the year, and around 1.3 million at end-2006. OFTA's figures show a corresponding drop in users of 2.5G mobile services, which it said numbered less than 100,000 at end-2008, down from 1.2 million at the end of 2005. TeleGeography's GlobalComms database notes that there are four players in Hong Kong's UMTS-based 3G market, Hutchison Telephone Company (3), CSL New World Mobility, SmarTone-Vodafone and PCCW Mobile, with Hutchison leading the field by a clear margin with 1.34 million W-CDMA/HSPA subscribers at the end of December, up from 1.08 million at end-2007 (representing just under half of the company's total customer base).

OFTA also reported a more than 15% rise in the SAR's number of subscribers to mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in 2008, which reached a total of 834,000 by end-December, up from 724,000 a year earlier.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | Asia-Pacific | MVNO
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:39:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile penetration rate in the Philippines has reportedly reached a mark of 75% at the end of 2008. The growth in mobile penetration rate was driven by the number of SIM cards sold by the mobile operators in the country which was recorded 67.9 million at the end of 2008.

According to Napoleon Nazareno, President PLDT, the growth in the subscriber base is likely to be slower in 2009 as the mobile penetration rate has already reached 75%.

PLDT recently posted a subscriber base of 35.2 million, including 20.9 million Smart subscribers and 14.3 million Talk íN Text subscribers.

Whereas Globe Telecom, countryís second largest mobile operator, at 2008-end had a subscriber base of 24.7 million, including both Globe and Touch Mobile subscribers.

The third mobile operator Digital Telecommunications, reportedly said that it had more than 8 million subscribers under the brand name Sun Cellular.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:34:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The subscriber base of Korea totalled to 45.99 million at the end of February, after the addition of 211,000 new subscribers during the month. SK Telecom led the market with the net addition of 100,000 subscribers and ended February with 23.22 million subscribers, including 9.04 million WCDMA users.

The strong contender KTF added 58,000 and the subscriber base totalled to 14.48 million, followed by LG Telecom which ended the month 8.29 million subscribers after gaining 53,568 new subscribers in February. LGT reported the addition between 20,000 and 30,000 new subscribers per month.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:29:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Having seen monthly gains averaging 8.9m in the first six months of 2008, the Chinese market did not manage to post a figure above 7.9m in the second six months of the year. This was because of the impact of Unicomís sale of its CDMA network: in July-September, Unicom saw monthly declines in its CDMA base, presumably because its imminent sale reduced the need to attract new customers; in October, China Telecom acquired the network and cleaned up the base, with a net loss of 13.3m; and in November and December there were further losses to the CDMA base, presumably due to further rationalisation.

However, this clean-up process now seems at an end, with China Telecom gaining 1.02m customers in January to finish the month on 28.93m. China Mobile recorded a gain of 6.64m, its lowest figure since December 2007, and China Unicom added just 0.84m (compared to 1.43m in January 2008), but Telecomís performance meant that the total market gained just under 8.50m, the best performance since June 2008 and above the 8.44m recorded in January 2008.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:30:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 09, 2009

Vietnamís telecommunications sector reportedly earned estimated revenue of $ 440 million dollars in the first month of this year, a year-on-year increase of 46.6% despite the countryís economic slowdown. According to Vietnamís General Statistics Office, Vietnam saw about 3.2 million telephone subscribers be registered in January this year, an increase of 160.4% over the same period last year. Mobile subscribers accounted for 85% of the total. Presently, Vietnam subscriber base totals to 82.6 million, of which Vietnamís two biggies, the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and Viettel Corporation rules 90% of the domestic market.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, March 09, 2009 4:11:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India's mobile phone subscriber base jumped by a record 15.41 million customer in January, according to data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

The total for the country now stands at 362.30 million, up from 233.63 million at the end of last January.

In the landline segment, the subscriber base has decreased to 37.75 million in the month of January 2009 as against 37.90 million subscribers in December 2008 registering a drop of 0.15 million

The country's teledensity stands at 34.5%.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, March 09, 2009 4:04:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 06, 2009

Indiaís Telecom Commission has set $17.02 million as the price for MVNO licence in India. The Commission also confirms a pre-defined fees an operator will have to pay for individual service area of 10% of the amount that UASL holders pay. MVNO licences for the A category will cost $1 million whereas category B and C circles will be priced at $0.60 million and $0.20 million respectively. MVNOs will also have to pay spectrum charges and a bank guarantee equivalent to 5% of the amount paid by the full network operators.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, March 06, 2009 4:21:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 20, 2009

­Japanese operator, DoCoMo is launching a service which offers a local South Korean phone number to its customers roaming into that country - which it says will lower phone call costs by around 60%. Customers will also retain the DoCoMo numbers that they use in Japan.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.
Friday, February 20, 2009 11:58:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 18, 2009

GSM subscriber base of the country has grown to 9.3 million (excluding Reliance Telecom) in Janí09. According to a recent data, the total GSM subscriber base in the country rose to 267.54 million up from 257.85 million in December 2008, a growth of about 3.6% during the month of January.
Bharti Airtel, leads the chart as its subscriber base grows to 88.38 million, added 2.73 million subscribers in January and captures 33.04% market share. Vodafone-Essar has added about 2.4 million subscribers and its subscriber base totals to 63.34 million by the end of January. The company maintained a market share of 23.68%.

The state-owned telco BSNL market share dropped from 16.05% in December, 2008 to 15.95% in January, 2009. The companyís subscriber base totals to 42.67 million, added around 1.3 million subscribers to its total. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (MTNL) subscribers have crossed the mark of 4 million, added over 1 lakh subscribers to its total. However, Idea Cellular (along with Spice Communications) posted a rise of 5.27% in it subscriber base in comparison to last month. The incumbent subscriber base totals to 40 million with the addition of 2 million subscribers during the month.

Source: Wireless Federation.

 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 10:58:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Turkcell, Turkeyís largest mobile operator in terms of subscribers, has reported that it attracted 650,000 net new customers in the final three months of 2008, taking its total user base to 37 million. Rival operator Avea said on Friday that it had gained 244,000 net new subscribers since the implementation of mobile number portability (MNP) in mid-November, meaning that the countryís other cellco, Vodafone, has been the big loser since MNP was introduced; it saw customer numbers fall from 17.36 million at end-September to 16.72 million three months later.

Source: teleGeography.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 4:07:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to data published by the Telecommunications Carrier Association (TCA), Japan was home to 106.1 million mobile subscribers by 31 January 2008, thanks to the net addition of 269,000 new connections in the month. The countryís third largest operator by subscribers, Softbank Mobile, once again led the pack in terms of net sign-ups, adding 120,400 new customers to close January with more than 20.12 million subscribers. It was followed by number one operator NTT DoCoMo, which added a net 64,300 new users to reach a total of 54.22 million, while KDDI gained just 12,600 mobile users to end the month with 30.56 million. Fourth placed eMobile signed up an impressive 71,700 net new subscribers to lift its total to 1.19 million and PHS operator Willcom shipped 20,800 customers for a total of 4.55 million.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 3:55:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Koryolink, North Koreaís very first 3G operator, signs up 6,000 subscribers within two weeks of its operation, The operator had started registration in January 2009. Koryolink is owned by Orascom Telecom Holding of Egypt (75%) and state-owned Korea Post and Telecoms Corporation (25%). According to Naguib Sawiris, chairman of Orascom Telecom, ĎSo far we have about 6,000 applications. The important point is that they are normal citizens, not the privileged or military generals or party higher-ups. For the first time they have been able to go to a shop and get a mobile phone.í The government levies heavy taxes on mobile handsets, taking the cost upto $600, making it unaffordable for the masses. Orascom is in talks with the government to reduce taxes.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:30:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Chinese mobile market has ended 2008 with a subscriber base of 641.23 million, recording a growth rate of 1.71% monthly and 17.17% annualy, reports Chinaís Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The user density in the country rose to 48.5%. In Decemberí08, the mobile phone subscribers in China texted nearly 61.69 billion SMS, at an average of 3.12 SMS per phone number a day.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009 10:04:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 02, 2009

­The Indonesian market achieved a record figure for quarterly net additions in Q3 08 with an increase of 15.5m, 2m higher than the previous record, which was set in Q2 08. This took the number of connections in Indonesia to 131.64m, with annual growth of 57.1% compared to 47.9% for the prior twelve months.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Monday, February 02, 2009 10:44:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Afghanistan's government has announced plans to start spending the income from a Telecom Development Fund (TDF) which will be used to expand mobile and landline services into underserved rural areas.

According to the licenses issued to the current GSM operators, they should pay 2.5% from their net revenues to this fund to facilitate the communications services to remote and under services districts of the country, said Eng. Barialai Hassam Deputy Minister Technical in a news conference.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Monday, February 02, 2009 10:37:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Israel's Ministry of Communications has announced that it is to permit the use of MVNOs in the Israeli market. T­he Ministry said that several companies have already expressed their interest, with regard to all the different models existing in the world, including full MVNO.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Monday, February 02, 2009 10:05:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 29, 2009

China Unicom lately has kicked off a campaign in Beijing to sell government-subsidized customized mobile phones in the much less developed rural areas in 12 provinces.

Under the campaign, rural residents in the 12 provinces such as Shandong, Henan, Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, and Shaanxi are entitled to a 13% subsidy offered by the government when buying mobile phones.

On top of that, they can get a certain amount of telephone fees and some value-added services offered by China Unicom free of charge.

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless News.

Thursday, January 29, 2009 11:39:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 28, 2009

­The ten fastest growing operators in the MEA region added over 12m new customers in aggregate over the last three months, implying an average gain of over 1.25m. In fact, all but three of the ten managed seven figure gains.

 

 

Mobinil in Egypt produced by far the best result in the region, with 2.58m net adds - more than it connected in the first two quarters of the year and nearly one million more than second placed MTN Nigeria managed. The Egyptian market has been booming since the launch of the countryís third network, but as is so often the way, the incumbents have been the main beneficiaries. Vodafone Egypt was the fourth fastest growing company in the quarter, with 1.39m new customers, while Etisalat Egypt, the new entrant, only managed a gain of 310k, for 28th place overall.

An increased competitive threat also lay behind the strong performance by third placed Irancell and fifth placed TCI Iran. These two added 1.55m and 1.15m connections respectively, but this week, a third national mobile licence has been awarded to a consortium led coincidentally (or perhaps not) by Etisalat. This will have exclusive rights to offer 3G services, at least for the moment. Experience shows that agreements of this kind are rarely honoured if there is a licence fee to be had.

 

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 5:52:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Asiacell- the largest private Iraqi company and the first mobile telecommunications company to provide coverage for all of Iraq - announced the launch of its new service offer, which utilizes the payment-per-second billing system as an optional alternative to the per-minute billing system.

Asiacell subscribers who wish to adopt this new payment method will be able to enjoy the most economic mobile rates in Iraq, wherein 2 cents per 10 seconds will be charged for phone calls made to other Asiacell subscribers, and 3 cents per 10 seconds charged for calls made by Asiacell subscribers to other networks. International phone calls will also follow the per-second billing offer starting from the first minute at no extra cost. Asiacell subscribers are free to choose whether to remain subscribed to the payment per-minute system or to switch to the new per-second system.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 5:32:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India has reportedly added a record of 10.81 million wireless subscribers in the month of December, raising its subscriber base to 346.9 million at 2008-end. The Indian mobile subscriber base grew by 48.5% in 2008. The ever-growing rate of subscriber base in India is driven by cheap call rates, low-end handsets and network expansion spree.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 5:26:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Azerbaijan has taken a step further in lowering the mobile tariffs calling for greater savings for the consumers. According to Eliyar Temirov, officer of Azerbaijanís Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies, the tariffs levied by operators, on an average, are higher that the tariffs in other nations. ďTo offset the balance in the market and to prevent unfair competition, asymmetrical regulation is exercised in the international practice by to supporting a new entrant against the established incumbent service providers. Moreover, the mobile call prices may be reduced by cutting the fees that operators levy for switching callers between each otherís networks,Ē he added.

The ministry has talked about this to Azercell and Bakcell, convincing them to cut down the tariffs. The Tariff Council has given a green signal to the lowering of so-called termination rates that mobile operators can charge each other to connect calls between their networks within the antimonopoly policy.

Source: Wireless News.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 5:20:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to Pakistanís Telecoomunication Authority (PTA) figures, the mobile phone tele-density at the end of December 2008 declining 40 basis points pegged at 55.8 %, while the countrywide mobile phone subscribersí tally during the past three months dwindled by 1 million.

The subscriber base at the end of September 2008 had ascended to 90 million. After the PTA notification of discounting anonymous connections, the no. is seen falling.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 4:11:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Asia-Pacific was home to some 121 million 3G subscribers in 2007 and an estimated 158.4 million in 2008. By 2013, the region's 3G subscriber base is expected to top 564 million, accounting for about 18.2 percent of all mobile users. With 3G subscriber net additions in record numbers year-on-year, mobile operators are eager to monetize 3G external broadband devices, namely dongles and datacards, to complement their mobile broadband offerings.


Click here to see full article
3G dongle services have thus far seen promising uptake. Frost & Sullivan senior industry analyst Marc Einstein notes, "Dongles and datacards are increasingly a preferred connectivity device of choice for Asia-Pac's broadband subscribers given the slim form-factor of the devices, faster 3G speeds and competitive service plans available."

He reckons that by 2013, more than one in every three new broadband subscriber will use dongles or datacards for their [mobile] broadband needs, giving fixed broadband players a run for their money.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that there were an estimated 5.2 million mobile broadband dongle and datacard users in Asia-Pac (18 countries) in 2008, with corresponding billings of over US$1.3 billion.

With the continuous roll-out of new 3G networks and 3.5G/4G upgrades across the region, Frost & Sullivan believes that there will be nearly 37 million 3G subscribers using external wireless devices for their mobile broadband needs by year end-2013, with estimated billable revenues of US$7.8 billion.

The uptake for these 3G devices is expected to accelerate after 2010 once 3G services become commercially available in most large Asian markets. Not surprisingly, China is expected to be the single largest market for the device with 20 percent (7.4 million) of the region's dongle/datacard users by 2013; India, a close enough second with 5.55 million (15 percent) dongle/datacard subscribers.

"3G technologies have come a long way since the world's first 3G network premiered in 2001 offering peak speeds of 384Kbps -- child's play when you consider what mobile broadband is capable of delivering today," says Einstein. "3G networks today boast of peak speeds of 21Mbps and can potentially peak at 50 to 100Mbps in the next two years."

He adds, "Mobile operators are aggressively exploring this business segment to make good their already costly investments in 3G infrastructure and provide [at least] comparable [to fixed] broadband connectivity in developed markets like South Korea and Japan where consumers are willing to pay a premium for mobile laptop access."

Einstein warns, however, that service quality will need to match or exceed the user experience that subscribers in Asia-Pac are already accustomed to with fixed broadband. "While mobile users are adopting the service in overwhelming numbers, they will return their devices just as quickly if actual speeds do not match up," he cautions.

The dramatic decline in the cost of these 3G devices also makes the service more affordable for end users. Einstein says that the days of a US five hundred-dollar price tag on datacards are over, "At less than US$150 a pieceÖ many operators even offering it free with service bundles, anybody can be a road warrior today.
"More importantly, it means that mobile broadband is now poised to truly penetrate the residential segment," he adds.

For mobile operators in emerging markets like India and China, it means that the millions of households that are still unconnected can now realistically receive broadband access. Despite being low-ARPU (average revenue per user) markets with low PC-installed base, Einstein believes that several key developments in 3G in the past year will work favourably towards driving adoption of the technology and device.

He explains, "The future of 3G became much clearer in 2008 as HSPA became the breakout technology in the region. The GSM family [of networks] already has over 85 percent of the region's mobile subscribers and recent operator commitments to LTE (Long Term Evolution) means that in time to come, most of the region's subscribers will be using one technology standard.

"We believe that the economies of scale for 3G technology will be realised much faster," Einstein concludes, adding that these 3G devices will be a stepping stone to 4G-embedded devices which will eventually take mobile broadband to new heights.

Source: Cellular News.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 3:58:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 20, 2009

According to a local media report, citing data published at a review of the telecoms and IT sector by the Uzbek Cabinet of Ministers, the total number of mobile users in Uzbekistan have doubled to 12.5 million in 2008. THe mobile penetration in the country stood at 46% at 2008-end.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 9:35:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 19, 2009

mCheck mobile payment subscribers of Airtel (leading mobile operator in India) have reached the mark of one million since its launch in June 2008.

With mCheck, mobile subscribers can make SMS-payments to top-up their account, to pay post-paid bills, landline bill or other transactions like flight ticket booking, movie ticketing, insurance premium payment and toll recharge. Some new capabilities have been introduced for all mCheck subscribers on Airtel that includes mCheckMall, SIM cards preloaded with mobile payments capability and holiday season offers and discounts to customers from Airtel, mCheck and other retailers. mCheckMall is a mobile shop on WAP and Java environments, offering flight tickets, movie tickets and other services.

Airtel and mCheck announced that more banks would be introduced onto the platform allowing for many more customers to start using the services by linking their bank accounts or credit/debit cards to their mobile phone number.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, January 19, 2009 1:59:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 15, 2009

According to Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC), Bangladesh finished 2008 with a mobile subscriber base of 44.6 million by adding 10.27 million subscribers in the year, at a growth rate of 30% compared to the 62% growth recorded in 2007. According to statistics revealed, Grameenphone lead the market by adding 4.51 million in 2008, taking its total subscriber base to 20.99 million at 2008-end, followed by Banglalink which added 3.25 million subscribers and AKTEL adding 1.8 million to reach a subscriber base of 10.33 million and 8.20 million, respectively.

The new entrant to the market, Warid Telecom ended 2008 with a subscriber base of 2.33 million a step further of CityCell and Teletalk, who stood at a subscriber base of 1.81 million and 980,000 respectively.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, January 15, 2009 9:52:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 14, 2009

China's fast-growing population of Internet users has risen to 298 million after passing the United States last year to become the world's largest, a government-sanctioned research group said Tuesday.

The latest figure is a 41.9 percent increase over the same period last year, the China Internet Network Information Center said in a report.

China's Internet penetration is still low at just 22.6 percent, leaving more room for rapid growth, according to CNNIC. The Pew Internet and American Life Project places U.S. online penetration at 71 percent.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 11:45:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Kazakhstan telecoms market was worth KZT 379 billion (US$3.2 billion) in 2008 - representing 3% of the country's GDP, reports the official news agency, Kazinform. The agency was citing the Chairman of the Agency for Information and Communications, Kuanyshbek Yessekeyev.

Mr. Yessekeyev emphasized high rates of growth of cellular operators, tough competition on the market and growth of their incomes over the last year. According to the Agencyí data, the number of mobile phone subscribers had topped 15 million people, and teledensity had reached 98 percent.

ďThe data was received on the basis of the sold SIM-cardsĒ, he clarified.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 11:42:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Indian GSM operators have reportedly added more than 8 million mobile subscribers in the Decí08 keeping its flag flying high as worldís fastest growing mobile market. According to the latest data compiled by COAI, Indiaís GSM subscriber base has reached the mark of 258 million at Decemberí08 end, rising by 3.25 % from Novemberí08. Bharti Airtel continued to be the market leader as it added over 2.7 million new subscribers taking its subscriber base to 87 million. Airtel held a market share of 33.22% at December end. Vodafone followed with a market share 23.63% and added 2 million subscribers in Decí08 taking its total subscriber base to about 60 million. Idea Cellular added 1 million subscribers during the same period taking its total subscriber base to 38 million. BSNL, the state-owned incumbent, experienced a positive growth in December taking its subscriber base to 41 million.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 11:32:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Indian GSM operators have reportedly added more than 8 million mobile subscribers in the Decí08 keeping its flag flying high as worldís fastest growing mobile market. According to the latest data compiled by COAI, Indiaís GSM subscriber base has reached the mark of 258 million at Decemberí08 end, rising by 3.25 % from Novemberí08. Bharti Airtel continued to be the market leader as it added over 2.7 million new subscribers taking its subscriber base to 87 million. Airtel held a market share of 33.22% at December end. Vodafone followed with a market share 23.63% and added 2 million subscribers in Decí08 taking its total subscriber base to about 60 million. Idea Cellular added 1 million subscribers during the same period taking its total subscriber base to 38 million. BSNL, the state-owned incumbent, experienced a positive growth in December taking its subscriber base to 41 million.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 11:32:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 12, 2009

According to data published today by Japanís Telecommunications Carriers Association (TCA), the countryís incumbent mobile operators collectively added a net 400,200 new users last month to end the year with a total 105.825 million mobile subscribers. Softbank Mobile recorded 135,200 net additions last month, compared with 36,000 for KDDIís Ďauí brand, and 120,400 for the countryís leading operator by subscribers, DoCoMo. At the start of this year, DoCoMo had 54.16 million customers, ahead of KDDI with 30.55 million and Softbank Mobile with 19.99 million. The market's newest entrant eMobile added 108,600 new users to end the year with 1.12 million, while the leading PHS operator, Willcom, had 4.57 million customers, up just 1,300 from a month before.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, January 12, 2009 11:05:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 09, 2009

Asiacell has reportedly announced that its subscriber base has exceeded six million. According to a report, Asiacell has claimed 5.56 million subscribers at the end of September 2008, representing a 7.8% increase in the three-month period. Asiacell caters to 34% market share in terms of subscribers; its main rival Zain Iraq boasts 52%. Asiacell has claimed to be the only wireless network operator to provide coverage of the whole country.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, January 09, 2009 12:03:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 08, 2009

In a move which will shock precisely no-one, Chinaís Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has finally awarded three 3G licences to the trio of state-owned telcos. As announced last month, China Mobile has been formally given a licence for the countryís homegrown technology TD-SCDMA. China Unicom and China Telecom have been awarded concessions to develop W-CDMA and CDMA2000 networks respectively.

The MIIT said last month that spending on 3G equipment would total USD41 billion over the next two years. In a separate but related story, China Mobile is reported in the local press as having already met equipment suppliers in preparation for the launch of its third-phase network construction tender for TD-SCDMA networks in 162 cities. The company is reported to be expecting to open the tender on 25 January, with the winners to be announced at the end of March.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, January 08, 2009 11:51:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

There were 633.84 million subscribers of mobile communication services in China as of the end of November 2008, growing by 1.05% on month and by 17.51% on year, according to statistics published by Chinaís Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) at its Chinese-language web site.

The number of subscribers at the end of November accounted for 47.3% of the countryís population (user density).

Also at the end of November 2008 there were 348.48 million subscribers of fixed telecommunication networks in China, translating into a user density of 26.8%.

In November 2008, mobile phone subscribers in China sent 56.87 billion short messages, averaging 3.01 short messages per phone number a day.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, January 08, 2009 11:50:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

South Korea posted a subscriber base of  45.6 million at the end of 2008, as per the recent statistics. SK Telecom has added 52,000 in December 2008, the subscriber base totals to 23.03 million. The strong contender, KTF has ended month with 14.37 million customers, after adding 36,000 new subscribers. In Decí08, LG Telecom subscriber base totals to 8.21 million, after gaining 23,303 subscribers.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, January 08, 2009 11:48:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistanís telecoms regulator, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), has announced the completion of almost 350 telecentres aimed at providing basic telecoms services in rural regions. A press release from the regulator notes that the centres, called ĎRabta Gharsí, are equipped with facilities including fixed line telephony, internet connectivity and faxes. 104 of the telecentres are located in Sindh, 82 in Punjab, 86 in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), 62 in Balochistan and 15 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and the Northern Areas. The project was initiated in 2007, aiming to bring telecoms services in rural regions in line with developed areas. The centres have been sponsored by various companies, including Pakistan Telecommunciation Company Ltd (PTCL), Mobilink, Instaphone and Ufone.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, January 08, 2009 11:43:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 06, 2009

According to the statistics from market regulator PTA, Pakistanís subscriber base drops by 0.1% to 90.41 million in November. The figures in October were 90.51 million. Mobilink had 30.06 million in its kitty, lost 827,000 customers during November, followed by Ufone with 19.1 million. Telenor stands at third position with 18.88 million subscribers, followed by Warid with 16.66 million subscribers. Zongís subscribers have reached the mark of 5.39 million, while Instaphone subscribers remained sturdy at 321,134. Mobile teledensity was constant at 56.20% in November.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:44:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Click here to see full article

The total Afghan market grew to 6.72m, with an annual uplift of 66.7%. This was less than half the 139.8% recorded in the prior twelve-month period. Indeed, growth has declined consistently over the past four quarters despite the fact that penetration remains low, with a rate of just 20.4% at the end of Q3 08. It seems highly likely that growth will continue to slow, unless there is any significant change in the countryís economic conditions.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 8:58:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

It is being reported that as many as 25 million mobile phones could be cut off in India from next month - following a security clamp down on unregistered mobile phones following ongoing terrorist attacks in the country. According to the Mobile World subscriber­ tracker, the country ended September with around 315 million mobile phone subscribers.

The department of telecom (DoT) has instructed the mobile network operators to disconnect all handsets which do not have an IMEI number from January 6th 2009.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 8:51:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 22, 2008

The number of mobile phone subscribers were almost four-folds more than the main line subscribers in Turkey, the Information Technologies & Communication Agency, said. According to the statistics, landline subscribers totals to 17.6 million in Turkey in October 2008, wherein mobile phone users have reached the mark of 65.7 million in October. However, in 2007 the fixed line subscribers were 19 million and around 54 million were mobile users.

 

Source: Wireless Federation.

Monday, December 22, 2008 4:43:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 19, 2008

Mobitel, Sri Lanka, has launched a new pre paid tariff named SMART Pre Paid which will enable its Sri Lankan subscribers the lowest call rates in the country.

SMART Pre Paid Tariff will offer value to existing and potential subscribers, with outgoing Voice/Video calls at Rs.1 per minute and SMS at 50 cents per message to one nominated Mobitel M Best Friend number, outgoing Voice/Video calls at Rs.2 per minute to Mobitel numbers, and Voice/Video call rates to other local Mobile or Fixed Line numbers at Rs.4 per minute 24 hours of the day. Further, this plan allows users to enjoy Incoming Free Voice/Video calls from Mobitel, Local fixed lines and overseas numbers anytime of the day.

Click here to see full article
Source: Wireless Federation.
Friday, December 19, 2008 11:36:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Telecom Tiger is reporting that Indiaís Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has set the date of 16 January 2009 for the auctioning of 3G licences. The regulator announced the date at the same time as it released the final guidelines for the auction process, and a pre-bid conference will be held on 23 December, with the final date for submissions set as 5 January. The DoT has also clarified the status of spectrum availability, noting that Mumbai and Delhi will only be able to accommodate four and two new 3G licensees respectively. Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh will offer spectrum to three players, while the remaining circles will allow for four licensees.

The DoT has also announced that the auctions for WiMAX spectrum will be held two days after the close of the 3G auction process. The WiMAX auction process is expected to see three players in each circle offered spectrum.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 5:01:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobilink, the Pakistani incumbent, has lost more than 2,000,000 subscribers driven by interrupted service and blocking of illegal SIM by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). Mobilinkís subscriber base now slided from 32 million to 30 million.

It is seen that out of the 20,00,000 subscribers, 7,50,000 have ported their numbers to other cellcos and the rest 12,50,000 have been blocked by PTA after they were identified as illegal SIMs. Mobilink has been facing such problems due to poor quality of services.

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 4:50:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India has reportedly added 7 million GSM subcribers in the month of November, ending with a GSM subscriber base of 249.3 million. Bharti Airtel leaded the list of net additions with 2.7million subscribers followed by Vodafone Essar which added 2 million subscribers in November. BSNL added 0.6million subscribers and MTNL added 77,398 subscribers.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 3:52:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 05, 2008

­Pelephone is the third largest of Israelís four networks, but it was the fastest growing in Q3 08, both in real terms and proportionately. It added 62k customers in the quarter compared to 40k for market leader Cellcom and 36k for second-placed Partner, and its proportionate quarterly growth rate stood at 2.4% compared to 1.3% for both its rivals. At the end of the quarter its active customer base was just short of 2.70m. Nearest rival Partner had 2.88m, which means that its lead over Pelephone was below 200k for the first time in three years.

In fact, Pelephoneís figure for quarterly net additions equalled the Q4 07 figure, which was the best since Q3 05. This is particularly impressive given that the Israeli market is now around 130% penetrated. Despite this strong performance, and the narrowing of Partnerís lead, any changes in the market ranking remain unlikely in the near future. However, Pelephone does lead the market in terms of 3G customers. Its CDMA2000 1x EV-DO base broke the 1m barrier during the quarter to finish on 1.07m, more than 100k higher than the W-CDMA base of Partner. On an annual basis, Pelephoneís 3G base grew 64.1% with net additions of 418k, compared to 410k for the prior twelve-month period.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, December 05, 2008 4:38:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Myanmar will soon experience, the price for owning a mobile phone being much less than using the device. The state-owned mobile operators in Myanmar plan to sell cheaper SIM cards with a tenfold rise in call tariffs. The sale of new SIM cards will begin from Dec. 12 priced at $50-25 times less than the price at present. The new SIM cards will carry a talktime of $10 and the calls will cost $0.30/min up from $0.03/min for otugoing domestic calls and the incoming call s will cost $0.05/min.

Under the current Myanmar system, a military rule, not everyone is entitled to an officially sanctioned mobile phone, which costs $1,250.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, December 05, 2008 9:43:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 04, 2008

China has signed up 3.22 million new subscribers in October, less than the average monthly increase of 8.5 million recorded in the initial nine months to September, media reported. At the end of October, China had more than 627.26 million handset users. The slowdown is attributed to the change in operator for the countryís CDMA mobile network, from China Unicom to China Telecom. The total revenue was up 8.1% to CNY 679.79 billion in comparison to the year 2007. The total investment in the telecommunication sector has reached CNY 185.05 billion in the first ten months, up 9.9 percent year-on-year. The total number of telephone users, including both mobile phone users and fixed-line users has crossed the mark of 978.7 million by the end of October.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:57:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

South Koreaís leading wireless carrier, gained more customers than its rivals in November, maintaining its lead in the countryís telecom market, according to data released by mobile carriers.

SK Telecom reported that it attracted a net 51,768 customers last month, with its total subscription base increasing to 22.97 million.

KTF Co. ranked second, drawing in a net 35,175 users, bringing its customer base to 14.32 million. The smallest company, LG Telecom Ltd., attracted an additional 22,726 customers, with its total number of customers reaching 8.18 million.

Based on the figures, South Korea had 45.47 million mobile service users out of a population of 49 million as of the end of last month.

Users of KTFís 3G service, a third-generation wireless service that allows faster data transfers compared to second-generation CDMA-based services, reached 7.97 million as of the end of last month, followed by SK Telecomís 3G service with 7.88 million subscribers, according to reports.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:25:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Bangladeshi telecoms watchdog intends to issue 3G licences in the country by Marchí09, in order to boost broadband services of the country. The licence will be roll out for 2100 MHz spectrum band for 3G services would enable Bangladeshi operators to launch mobile broadband services. ďThe 3G licences will be issued by March next year. The licences would be awarded through an open auction,Ē said the chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory commission, Manzurul Alam. The 3G services will allow people to get easy access to information on health, education, job opportunities and agriculture, he added.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:22:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Taiwan based 3G operator Vibo Telecom anticipates a subscriber base of one million 3.5G users by 2009-end. According to Viboís president Feng-hsiung Chang the telco will have a subscriber base of 300,000 3.5G users by 2008-end, moving onto somewhere between 600,000 and one million by end-2009.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 10:56:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Indiaís Telecom Minister, Andimuthu Raja corroborated that the government has decided to auction 3G and broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum in January, 2009. According to the minister, spectrum will be allotted through simultaneous ascending e-auction. On an average for 3G, 5 blocks are to be auctioned. The reserve price for each block of pan India spectrum is Rs 2020 crore ($408 million). In broadband wireless access (BWA), auction will take place in a similar manner. The reserve price for one block is Rs 1010 crore ($204 million) and Four blocks are to be auctioned. The sale of each BWA spectrum will bring Wi-Max services to rural areas and will help in broadband launch.

Raja said, ďI have allotted 3G and Wi-Max Spectrum to both BSNL and MTNL in the month of September 2008 with a view to ensure early roll out of 3G and Wi-Max services in the country. MTNL will be launching services in December 2008 in Delhi and BSNL in January 2009 in Chennai. They will pay the same price for the spectrum as discovered through the auctionĒ.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 10:38:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 01, 2008

In October 2008, for the first time in its history, the Chinese market reported a monthly decline in customer numbers. This was not the latest sign of global economic meltdown, but rather a consequence of China Telecom°'s acquisition of China Unicom°'s CDMA network. At the point of acquisition, Unicom counted 41.73m CDMA subscribers while Telecom reported 29.08m, the discrepancy being the result of differing counting methodologies: Telecom disregarded customers who had not paid their most recent bill or who it was not confident would continue to pay in the future. Only 6.8% of the total CDMA customer base were prepaid customers at the end of September, so the vast majority of uncounted customers were on contracts.

Click here to see full article

The total Chinese customer base remained above 600m despite the inorganic loss effected by China Telecom°'s recount. With a monthly decline of 4.92m, the number of mobile connections in China stood at 602.25m at the end of October.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, December 01, 2008 9:41:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 28, 2008

­India's GSM networks added a record breaking 7.7 million net customers in October - reports the Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI). The total GSM base now stands at 241.4 million as at the end of last month.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, November 28, 2008 4:50:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Indonesian Mobile Market flying the rating chart, subsequently the mobile operators are busy positioning themselves as growth starts to slow and competition becomes more stiff. The operators have to offer best of its price to expand its subscriber base as well as to build market share. It is anticipated that new entrants in alliance with foreign partners will bring a change in the shape of the market.

According to sources, Indonesia has by far the highest level of CHURN, 11.2%. ARPU in 2Q, 2008 was USD 5.70, among the lowest in the world and ARPU declines accelerated to 23% YoY in 2Q, 2008, compared to -15.3% in 1Q, 2008. The Indonesia mobile market scenario is one of the most challenging in the world, with operators caught in a low-ARPU, high churn market environment. It posted EBITDA margins at 56 % in 2Q, 2008.

Click here to see full article

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, November 28, 2008 4:46:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dialog Telekom, Sri Lankaís leading mobile operator by subscribers, reports a fall of 86% in its net profits for 9 months driven by higher energy and network costs and rising inflation. The profits came down to $9.36 million in comparison to $66.38 million since last year. Overall group turnover for the period rose 9% to $249.15 million. It ended the 9 month period with a subscriber base of more than 5 million, acquiring 50% of Sri Lankan mobile market.

Source: Wireless News.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 9:07:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 30, 2008

During the month of September, Indian mobile industry adds 10 million subscribers maitaining its rapid march northwards. GSM flying the rating chart with the additions of 7.69 million subscribers, the CDMA sector managed to add 2.34 million new subscribers. At the end of September, India totals its subscriber base close to 310 million in which 233 million subscribers are in its GSM kitty at a market share of 75%.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 3:56:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 29, 2008

According to data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the country added 10.07 million mobile subscribers in September to reach a total of 315.3 million active SIM cards. The increase was higher than rises of 9.16 million new connections the previous month. The net additions came despite warnings that Indiaís economy will be hit by a downturn in the local stock markets and weaker consumer spending. The countryís total fixed line subscribers dropped from 38.63 million in August to 38.35 at end-September, added the TRAI.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 8:36:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 23, 2008

New mobile subscribers in Pakistan will get inactivated SIMs from Janí09, which would only be activated after the thorough verification of the consumerís data from National Database Registration Authority (NADRA).

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has taken this step to avoid illegal use of mobile phone SIMs. Consequently, the sale of pre-activated SIMs will be stopped from December 2008. According to the policy, 10 mobile phone SIMs could be issued against one Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC). Under the policy, 2.6 million SIMs have already been blocked and the remaining will either be regularised or blocked by 21 October, 2008.

The number of unverified connections sold up till 31st Augustí08 will also be blocked by 21 October, 2008. Further, PTA Chairman, Dr. Muhammad Yaseen, proclaimed that PTA would conduct a survey to check violation of the PTA SoP after two weeks. If any violation were observed, the authority will issue show cause notices and impose fines against the mobile phone companies responsible for the violation.

Media awareness campaign will be run by PTA and mobile operators to educate the subscribers to get the SIMs registered against their names.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, October 23, 2008 7:52:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The Indian set a new world record for organic monthly net additions in September with an uplift of 9.99m, beating its own previous best of 9.90m. This is equivalent to 3.9 new connections every second in September. The total market reached 310.62m with a penetration rate of 27.5%, which should mean that there is plenty of potential for further growth.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, October 23, 2008 7:38:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Turkish mobile penetration rate reached 88.8% at the end of Q2 08, up 8.0pp year on year, with an end-quarter customer base of 63.81m. On a quarterly basis net additions stood at 1.27m, while the annual gain was 6.28m, the lowest figure for four years. Meanwhile, proportionate annual growth was down to 10.9%, the lowest level ever recorded in Turkey.

The graph below may seem to suggest a dramatic decline in Q2 08, but in fact the four previous growth rates were significantly boosted by an extraordinary Q2 07, which saw net additions of 3.71m.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 9:18:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 17, 2008

­A new report from the ROA Group says that the number of mobile users in Japan will increase to 121 million by 2011 and the penetration rate in the Japanese market will grow to 95.4% by 2011.

As the Japanese market is reaching the saturation point, competition among the three operators, NTT DoCoMo, KDDI, and SoftBank intensifies in terms of network, contents and devices. In this circumstance, the operators are also aiming to extend their businesses abroad. DoCoMo is now planning to commercialize Long Term Evolution (LTE) service for the first time in the world by 2010, and its rival SoftBank is to introduce the service about the same time. UQ Communications, a KDDI-led joint venture, and WILLCOM are planning to commercialize Broadband Wireless Access (BWA)-based mobile WiMAX service and next generation PHS service respectively in 2009, which is a year earlier than the planned launch of LTE by DoCoMo.

Looking at the general trend in price policy, it seems that two-year contracts are becoming common in the Japanese market.

In June 2007, DoCoMo introduced a new discount rate plan based on a two-year commitment. SoftBank and KDDI immediately followed the suit. For rate plans, unlike SoftBank and EMOBILE, both KDDI and DoCoMo are not offering free-call (flat-rate) service between those who use the same network. However, KDDI and DoCoMo may introduce 24-hour free call service in the future based on their business results, and it is expected that free-call service (flat-rate) will be widespread in Japan by 2011, says Steve Lee, Chief Consultant at ROA Group.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, October 17, 2008 9:45:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

To millions, their cell phones are indispensable items.

That also applies in Israel, where Cellcom Israel CEL is the largest mobile phone operator. It had 3.1 million subscribers at the end of June, up 5% from a year ago.

The company's market share has been growing despite intense competition. Revenues from content and value-added services rose 36% in Q2 as the company pushes music offerings.

Last month, Cellcom launched a program that gives subscribers free airtime in exchange for watching commercials on their handsets.

Viewers will have to answer one or two advertiser questions to prove they watched. Big advertisers such as Coca-Cola KO, Nokia NOK and Sony SNE have already signed on.

The company's earnings grew 37% in the second quarter, moderately lower than in the past several quarters. Cellcom's three-year EPS growth rate is 29%.

But sales growth accelerated from 10% to 15%, 21%, 31% and 40% the past four quarters.

Pretax margin in 2007 was 19.5%, the highest in at least six years. After-tax margins generally have trended higher, but have been uneven in the past several quarters. Debt as a percentage of equity is a hefty 401%, however.

Source: Cellular News, based on Investor's Business Daily.

Friday, October 17, 2008 9:38:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecom, New Zealand, plans an investment of $357 million in itís 3G mobile services across the nation, which is yet to be rolled out. Telecom soughts to roll out itís 3G services by June 2009, covering 97% of New Zealand.
The firm expects an increased total group capital expenditure of NZ$2.4 billion within next two years.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, October 17, 2008 9:22:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Thai Military Bank (TMB) has introduced a secure, personal mobile banking service called ĎíTMB M-Banking'í. This service is available across all mobile phone networks that allows customers to check balances, make financial transactions and pay bills. Chief Executive Officer of TMB Bank, Boontuck Wungcharoen, said, the service did not require a new SIM card or new phone number and TMBís clients could execute any transaction using the browser on a phone connected through GPRS or a WiFi network.

M-Banking offers their client to know account summary as far back as nine months and monitor accounts around the clock. Other transactions are real-time cross-account and cross-bank money transfers.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, October 17, 2008 9:21:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 16, 2008

­The number of mobile telecom subscribers in South Korea grew 125,401 Month on Month in September to 45.3 million and the penetration rate rose to 93.1%, reports Korea Investment and Securities. Monthly net additions in September were slightly higher than in July and August but only 50.7% of the monthly average in 1H08, which shows cooled competition since July.

Overall market shares stand at 50.53% for SK Telecom (SKT), 31.49% for KTF and 17.98% for LG Telecom (LGT). SKTís slipped 0.01%p but LGTís inched up by the same measure.

Although ď010Ē prefix additions rose 17.2% MoM in September, mobile number portability (MNP) activations and handset changes contracted 5% and 20.8%, respectively. Therefore, total handset sales slipped 2.1% to 1.85mn in September from 1.88mn in August.

By operator, lower handset sales were 6% for SKT, 20.6% for KTF and 12.5% for LGT. The research house noted though that lower handset sales usually implies fewer marketing incentives and hence higher operating margins.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 3:36:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Pakistan's telecoms regulator says that it has blocked some 10.5 million SIM cards after their users failed to register their ownership details with the mobile operators. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman, Dr. Mohammed Yaseen also expressed concerns that many retailers were still flouting the rules requiring proof of id before selling new SIMs.

In first phase of the blocking procedure, of the connections sold before 30th April, 2008, 7.3 million connections found unverified have been blocked. In the second phase, PTA is endeavoring to clean subscriberís data of connections sold from 1st May, 2008 to 30th May, 2008. So far, a total of 0.6 million connections which remained unverified have been blocked.

Mobile companies were also asked to block SIMs where the owner has registered more than 10 mobile phones by 30th September, 2008. A further 2.6 million of extra connections have now been blocked.

According to figures from the Mobile World database, the country ended the first half of this year with some 88 million subscribers - representing a population penetration level of 51%. Doubtless this fugure will fall as the operators update their subscriber base numbers.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 3:32:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodafone has dropped their mobile broadband pricing to $39.95 for 5GB in order to take market share away. They are planning to roll out a new 3G network in December. Vodafone Australia claims that they are trying to validate their position as a key player in the highly competitive mobile broadband space with several anlalyst anticipating that they will soon reach no. 2 position in Australia. Vodafone has even ripped price for its 1GB plan from $29.95 to $19.95. Vodafone customers can now save up to $10 per month. Earlier this pricing was available to Vodafone customers with a mobile phone and mobile broadband bundle. Vodafoneís new carry anywhere USB Internet Stick modem, will be free for new customers signing up for 5GB plan.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 2:26:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Softbank Mobile, Japanís largest mobile operator, adds new subscribers more than itís rivals for the 17th consecutive month. Softbank provides itís subscribers with low call rates and agressively running marketing campaigns and also brings in Apple iPhone. The mobile operator added 142,800 new subscribers for the month of September, lagging behind were NTT DoCoMo with 129,700 net additions, and second placed KDDI, which added 74,900. Japanís number four operator eMobile added 59,300.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 2:23:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Within the span of eight months this year Vietnam mobile subcribers reaches the mark of 52.4 million.The mobile penetration rate now stands at around 60 per cent. It is anticipated that the mobile subscribers will grow to 65 million by later this year and mobile penetration will increase to 70 users per 100 people.

Over the last four years cellular market of Vietnam shows fast paced growth, going from four million users by the end of 2004, to 37 million by the end of 2007. Considering its demographic trends it is anticipated that the boom will continue for at least the next five years, and probably longer. ďBy 2012, we forecast the total 89 million mobile market is achievable in Vietnam. Mobile penetration of about 99 per cent is possible in that timeframe,Ē said, Roger Barlow, chairman and CEO of RJB Consultants Limited. The factors that leads to growth are:

  • Lower priced handsets and service plans
  • Increased competition among five GSM networks
  • Network expansion into rural areas
  • Convergence between mobile and fixed networks
  • Broadcast capabilities and data usage through 3G deployments

Viettel adds 60,000 new mobile subscribers per day and MobiFone around 40,000 users. Viettel has captured 40% of the market and have become a strong participant.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 2:22:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 14, 2008

According to data published by Japanís Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) as reported by Japan Today, mobile calls accounted for 44.8% of total hours of telecommunications traffic in the fiscal year ending 31 March 2007, eclipsing fixed line phone traffic for the first time ever. The MIC reported fixed line phone calls, excluding calls made via IP, was 43.3%. In fiscal 2006 the share of mobile phone calls was 5.7 percentage points below that for fixed line calls, but leapfrogged it a year later after Softbank Mobile introduced free call services and other rivals cut call rates in a competitive market.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 7:35:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 03, 2008

Pakistanís quarterly customer growth rate stood at 6.7% in Q2, the lowest level recorded since the first quarter of 2000, when there was a fledgling market of just 0.3m customers. On an annual basis growth fell to 39.4%, down 45.1pp compared to the prior twelve months. The total market stood at 88.05m customers at the end of Q2 with penetration at 51.0%, and one possible explanation for the slowdown is that the market is approaching the natural limit for potential customers at the current price points. Certainly the slowdown is a long-term one, as the graph on the left demonstrates.

The decline in growth was widespread, with only one operator recording double-digit growth in Q2 08 compared to four in Q2 07. Market leader Mobilink (Orascom) was particularly hard hit, with a quarterly uplift of just 0.8% in Q2 08, down from 7.4% a year earlier. Telenor saw its worst ever figure for quarterly growth with a gain of 8.5%, down from 18.0% in Q2 07, although this did not prevent it from seizing second place in the market from Ufone, which grew by 5.2% in the quarter compared to 20.8% a year earlier. The two operators were separated by just 25k customers at the end of Q2 08 with Ufone on 18.10m and Telenor on 18.13m, and in fact Ufone managed to reclaim the lead in July and open up a gap of 274k by the end of August. More than 2.6m adrift in fourth place was Warid, which was only 80k behind Telenor at the end of Q2 07. It saw quarterly growth of 7.6%, down from 18.6%, to finish on 15.49m.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, October 03, 2008 12:31:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 15, 2008

3G Now Almost Four-Fifths of Japan's Subscriber Base

Softbankís run of market-leading performances for monthly net additions has reached an astounding 16 months, with August the fourth month in a row in which it was the only operator to record a six-figure gain. It did not quite match the level of dominance achieved in June and July, when it took more than half of the total net additions in the market, but the August share of 42.2% was nonetheless impressive. In real terms, Softbankís monthly gain was 163.6k, which took its total subscriber base to 19.49m.

Click here to see full article

Japan has the highest percentage of 3G users anywhere in the world, and at the end of August almost four-fifths of the total customer base had either W- CDMA or CDMA2000 1x EV-DO handsets. On an annual basis, the 3G base grew by 25.6% to just below 83.40m, which represents 79.9% of the total. DoCoMo dominates the 3G sector with 55.1% market share at the end of August, while KDDI has 24.8% and Softbank 19.1%.

Although eMobile operates solely on the W-CDMA standard, its share of the 3G market remains below 1%, with just 0.9% 15 months after its launch.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, September 15, 2008 2:00:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 25, 2008

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has announced that licence fees for rural landline services will be waived, Telecom Tiger reports. It is expected that the ruling could save providers up to INR2 billion (USD46.7 million) per year, and it is hoped may encourage private players to consider investment in rural areas. According to TeleGeographyís GlobalComms database, the Ministry of Communications (MoC) has committed to increasing rural teledensity to 4% by 2010.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, July 25, 2008 12:41:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The market share of handsets supporting WCDMA and HSDPA networks increased remarkably in South Korea in 2007. The latest research report released by ROA Group found out that 30.7% of the handsets launched in 2007 supported WCDMA and HSDPA networks, while the figure was a mere 4% in 2006. Also the proportion of handsets supporting mobile WiMAX (WiBro) increased compared to the previous year.

In terms of manufacturers, LG released more models compared to 2006, and was able to increase its market share in the domestic market by 6%, to 26%, while that of Samsung remained the same, occupying 50% of the South Korean market. As the cut-throat competition between the manufacturers and mobile operators intensifies, the market witnessed a drop in the average retail price compared to 2006, with the market share of high-end handsets decreasing to 40.4%.

There was also a notable increase in Bluetooth installment, sub-camera, Video on Demand (VOD), Video Telephony and Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) support. More and more handsets are equipped with Universal Subscription Identity Module (USIM) card, enabling mobile payment services, and this segment is expected to grow in South Korea as cooperation between mobile operators, card issuers and commercial banks strengthens in the market.

Among form factors, ROA Group believes that slim trend will continue and the adoption of touch screen will widespread further. The expansion of WCDMA and HSDPA networks will enable more innovative multimedia services, resulting in the acceleration of mobile Internet usage and interaction between content and end-user, says David Kim, chief consultant at ROA Group Korea.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, July 25, 2008 8:29:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of mobile users in China, the world's biggest cellphone market, now tops 600 million, the government said, as subscribers increasingly abandon fixed lines.

Mobile phone users in the country increased to 601 million at the end of June, up by 8.6 million from the end of May, the Ministry of Information Industry said in a statement posted on its website on Wednesday.

From January to June, the nation of 1.3 billion recorded 53.5 million new cellphone users, it said.By contrast, fixed-line subscribers fell by 9.3 million in the first six months to 356 million, it said.

Mobile service is becoming more popular in the country after operators lowered tolls in March for making phone calls outside a user's registered local service area and cancelled charges for answering calls in some cities.

China has been leapfrogging into the age of mobile telephony because of the huge costs associated with installing fixed lines across a nation the size of the United States.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, July 25, 2008 8:22:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mobile penetration in Pakistan surpassed 50% during the second quarter of 2008, with an end-June figure of 51.0%. The total number of mobile connections at the end of the month was 88.02m. With monthly net additions averaging around 1.9m so far this year, the 90m mark looks set to be surpassed before the end of the third quarter.

However, growth has been slowing for some time now, and in June the monthly growth rate hit a new low of 1.5%. On a rolling annual basis, growth dipped below 40% for the first time since 2000, although 39.4% still represents a strong annual rate.

Orascomís Pakistani subsidiary Mobilink remains the countryís market leader by some distance with 32.03m customers at the end of June.

Rolling Annual Customer Growth, June 06 Ė June 08

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 9:06:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Taiwanís cellular operators are expected to have signed up more than eleven million 3G handset users by the end of this year, according to a report from China Economic News Service. Chunghwa Telecom currently has around three million 3G users, having already surpassed its end-2008 target of 2.8 million, while Far EasTone (FET) has 2.2 million 3G subscribers and Taiwan Mobile has 1.8 million. Smaller operators Vibo and Asia Pacific Broadband Wireless account for another million or so 3G users between them. 3G handset users now account for more than a third of all cellular subscribers in Taiwan, though many customers with 3G-capable phones are still connected via 2G tariffs, meaning the actual 3G user base will be lower than the total given by the operators.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 12:28:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China's CCID Consulting, has reported that with the drive of export and domestic demands, China's mobile phone output continues to grow in 2007, reaching 554 million sets, with a growth rate of 25.4%. The export volume wass 322 million sets, which accounts for 58.2% of all phones made in the country. Currently, China's global mobile phone manufacturing base is quite steady. Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson have transferred their capacities to China; because of this factor, the export volume of China's mobile phone increases 26.2%. Meanwhile, China's domestic mobile phone enterprises' capacity increases are evident, especially ZTE, Huawei and K-Touch.

Brand Structure

The size of China's mobile phone chip market reached 84.41 billion Yuan in 2007, up 23.9% over 2006.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 11:24:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 21, 2008

At the end of June 2008 China Telecom reported 214.89 million local access lines in service, 5.44 million lower than at the start of the year. Broadband subscribers surged by 4.3 million during the same timeframe, to 39.95 million, helped by the acquisition of Beijing Telecom in June 2008. China Netcom meanwhile added 160,000 fixed line and 710,000 broadband customers to its base, to take its totals to 108.5 million and 23.35 million respectively.

In the wireless arena, China Mobile reported 414.6 million wireless customers at the end of June, an increase of 45.25 million in six months. Rival China Unicom meanwhile reported 127.6 million GSM and 43.16 million CDMA customers at the same date, up 7.03 million and 1.2 million on the start of the year respectively.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 21, 2008 1:11:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Heavy regulation can suffocate businesses. Just ask any American firm that operates under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

This is not to say that the market should be left to its own devices, but some governments go above and beyond the call of duty.

The Israeli Ministry of Communications continues to aggressively target its wireless industry with the intention of increasing competition between the major players, including the largest, Cellcom Israel CEL, to benefit the nation's consumers.

Cellcom was established in 1994 and went public last year. Today, it provides cellular service to roughly 3.09 million subscribers, up 23,000 from a year ago.

The firm's estimated 34% share of the market is only slightly higher than that of rivals Partner Communications PTNR and Pelephone.

Government over-regulation remains the biggest challenge facing all three competitors.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, July 21, 2008 7:57:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mobile Subscribers in Bangladesh touch 43.7 million, as reported by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. Bangaldeshís six mobile operators signed up a total of 1.66 million new users until end June, 2008.

The Market leader, GrameenPhone, controlled by Norwayís Telenor, increased its subscriber base by 730,000 in June to 19.58 million. Banglalink, part of the Egyptian Orascom Telecom group, signed up 470,000 with its new total at 9.46 million. Telekom Malaysia subsidiary TM International (Bangladesh) Limited (AKTEL), added 140,000 users to reach a subscriber base of 7.85 million. UAE-backed Warid Telecom (Bangladesh), added 180,000 users to reach 3.31 million subscribers.

The sole CDMA cellular operator in a GSM-dominated field, Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited (CityCell), part-owned by SingTel, saw its customer base grow to 1.7 million, up from 1.64 million in May, whilst the total users of state-owned Teletalk stood at 1.07 million at the end of June.

In Brief:

Name Total until June 2008 Additions in June
GrameenPhone (Telenor) 19.58 Million      730,000
BanglaLink (Orascom) 9.46 Million 470,000
AKTEL (Telekom Malaysia) 7.85 Million 140,000
Warid (UAE Backed) 3.31 Million 180,000
City Cell CDMA (Singtel) 1.7 Million 60,000
MOBILE SUBSCRIBERS (BANGLADESH) 43.7 Million          1.66 Million

Technorati : AKTEL, BTRC, BanglaLink, Bangladesh, CityCell, Grameenphone, Mobile, Mobile Statistics, Mobile Subscribers, Singtel, TeleTalkWarid.

Source:  Wireless Federation, based on Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 9:43:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 14, 2008

Asia Pacific saw record 3G net additions in Q1 2008 as 13.3m new connections were made, taking the total to 136.3m - a 53.7% increase with respect to Q1 2007. Here we only include CDMA EV-DO, and not standard 1x connections, as 3G; including 1x connections the total rose 37.7% to 264.3m. However, the source of growth in the base was undoubtedly W- CDMA, the 3G technology of the GSM family which accounted for almost 86% of all the mobile connections in Asia Pacific at the end of March. The number of W-CDMA customers grew 74% in the year to reach 98.4m, with a record 12.3m new customers joining in Q1 2008.

Organic Growth by Technology

By contrast, the EV-DO base grew by just 17.7% in the 12 months to 31s March, as net additions dropped drastically to under 1m in each of the last two quarters.

Without doubt the most significant driver of this trend has been South Korea, where W-CDMA customer numbers exploded to reach 9.2m at the end of Q1 2008, little more than a year after commercial launch by SK Telecom and KT Freetel. These two operators both used exclusively CDMA technology previously, which means that the success of W-CDMA has had a direct impact on EV-DO connection growth, which initially levelled out, only to go into reverse in July last year. In Q1 2008, more than 0.8m EV-DO active connections were terminated on a net basis in South Korea. LG Telecom, which is sticking with the CDMA standard, finally launched an EV-DO service late last year, but this is unlikely to do much to mitigate the effects of the migration process at its two rivals.

The technology switch in South Korea also had a material impact on the marketís overall CDMA numbers, which fell by over 2.5m in the quarter and 5.8m in the year.

The result for Asia Pacific as a whole was the lowest organic growth rate in the CDMA base seen for more than six years at just 3.5%, as the total moved to 189m. This compares with an increase in the GSM/W-CDMA base of 7.2%, from 1.07bn to 1.15bn. Meanwhile, the PDC customer base - located exclusively in Japan - fell by another 15% to just 14.3m - representing less than 1% of the regional total for the first time since the introduction of the proprietary standard in 1994.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, July 14, 2008 12:24:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vancouver-based Corinex Communication, a provider of powerline and coaxial network solutions and products, has announced that it is to lead a project to provide internet access to rural villages in India. Using Broadband over Powerline (BPL) technology ten villages have been targeted in a deal believed to be worth more than USD17 million. It is anticipated that deployment will be completed within 18 months, providing web access and VoIP services to approximately 3,000 users. According to TeleGeographyís GlobalComms database broadband penetration in India stood at only 0.3% by the end of 2007.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 14, 2008 11:19:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
There are nearly 16.2 million Home-based businesses (HBBs) in India and these constitute about 8% of the 202.9 million households. Nearly one-eighth of these HBBs are PC penetrated and they are set to spend US$8.4 billion on upgrading their ICT (info-communications technology) infrastructure this year, up a healthy 19% over 2007, according to a recent study by New York-based Access Markets International (AMI) Partners.

AMI-Partners defines HBBs as income-generating entities based in the home, led by individuals who are self-employed; it excludes individuals who work for a larger organization and telecommute, have a formal work-at-home arrangement with their employer or do after-hours work from home.

ďFor every dollar spent by HBBs in India 67% goes for telecom services and 22% on computing. The high spending on telecom services imply that the HBBs rely on the data and voice services to a large extent to conduct their businesses,Ē says Dipendra Mitra, Analyst at AMI-Partners.

Although IT comprises a much lesser proportion of the IT/Telecom spending pie, the former is set to rise at a faster rate within HBBs as they strive to reach a technological superiority level commensurate with their nearest brethren - the Very Small Businesses (VSBs or companies with up to 4 employees). ďIn the long run, the ultimate objective of HBBs is transition to the level of VSBs - as expressed by over one third of HBB owners,Ē says Mr. Mitra.

An interesting comparison of Very Small Businesses operating from Commercial Space and Home:

  • The number of HBBs outnumber VSBs by a factor of nearly 7:1
  • Both HBBs and VSBs are at the initial stages of PC adoption. Their PC penetration levels are at an embryonic stage indicating a huge opportunity for PC vendors wishing to make a dent into this nascent market
  • HBBs mostly lag behind VSBs in usage of primary technologies indicting that they are still in the First Wave of Technology adoption
  • HBBs are considerably younger than VSBs and thus are quite eager to adopt the latest technologies as they endeavor to transit the Second Wave of Technology adoption
  • Both HBBs and VSBs show significant promise of future growth - 40% to 45% of them have indicated plans of workforce expansion and over four-fifth of them anticipate revenue growth in the next 12 months

The Very Small Businesses operating from commercial space and Home together constitute a highly lucrative market for IT vendors since businesses in both these segments are on the growth path and they aim to increase levels of IT adoption at a rapid pace. Moreover, any vendor targeting the VSB space will also find it convenient to tap the HBB market segment since there is a considerable similarity within both these segments in terms of demographic, psychographic and IT adoption profile.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, July 14, 2008 11:11:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 09, 2008

MANILA -(Dow Jones)- Philippine Long Distance Telephone Tuesday said the number of subscribers to its mobile service, the group's main revenue earner, has exceeded 33 million at the end of June.

The country's largest telephone company by revenue said the figure reflects a net addition of over 1.6 million subscribers in the second quarter alone.

At the end of 2007, PLDT had a total 30 million mobile phone subscribers.

No other details were provided in PLDT's disclosure to the stock exchange.

Its chairman Manuel Pangilinan earlier said the company is sticking to its guidance that this year's core profit will rise 5% to PHP37 billion despite threats from surging inflation, which threaten to damp spending and increase the company's costs.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008 7:49:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Communications market research firm Infonetics Research reports that worldwide service provider capex (capital expenditures) totaled $248.8 billion in 2007, a 7% increase from 2006. Infonetics' report projects a spike in worldwide carrier capex in 2008, followed by a plateau in 2010 and a decline in 2011, and emphasizes that the weak US dollar is inflating current growth rates in Brazil, Canada, China, Europe, India, and Japan.

 

"Our capex analysis indicates we are in the fourth year of an investment phase, and we may be reaching the plateau this year in both North America and Europe, where large service providers' capital intensity (the ratio of capex to revenue) will likely be as low as 12%. Meanwhile, China and India will drive a significant jump in carrier capex in 2008 as a result of network construction projects combined with currency appreciation against the US dollar. Both countries are still posting double-digit revenue growth in their native currencies, which, converted in US dollars creates a big spike in worldwide carrier revenue as well," said Stťphane Tťral, principal analyst at Infonetics Research.

Other highlights from the report:

  • Telecom service providers earned a combined $1.5 trillion in annual worldwide revenue in 2007, up 10% from 2006, with currency appreciation making up the bulk of the growth, while the rest came from wireless services
  • Carriers are increasingly investing in application software (vs. hardware) for media rich applications such as content, storage, and security for broadband based wireline and wireless services
  • Current investment drivers for carrier spending: convergence between IT, media, Internet, and telecom, which is adding new competitive pressures to carriers, and the shift from legacy TDM to next generation IP networks
  • The world's 10 largest service providers (ranked by 2007 revenue) are AT&T, Verizon, NTT, Deutsche Telekom, France Tťlťcom, Vodafone, Telefůnica, China Mobile, BT, and Sprint
  • The next largest service providers include Telecom Italia, Comcast, and KDDI, which, according to their most recent growth rates, are poised to join the top 10
  • The incumbent share of North American carrier capex jumped from 56% to 63% in 2007; MSOs are expected to increase their share of North American carrier capex by 2011
  • The Asia Pacific telecom industry is squeezed between 2 opposite market forces: a saturated market made of Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan characterized by flat to decreasing capex, and a fast growing market driven by China and India, characterized by double digit growth for both capex and revenue
  • Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) service provider revenue jumped 29% between 2006 and 2007
  • Mobile infrastructure makes up the bulk of total equipment capex in 2007, accounting for about 20%, followed by voice infrastructure, optical equipment, and broadband aggregation equipment
  • WiMAX equipment spending by service providers as a portion of total carrier capex has roughly doubled each year since 2004, and will continue to increase its share in the near term, driven by major WiMAX projects in the US, India, and Latin America.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 2:42:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 04, 2008

WELLINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Vodafone New Zealand Friday said it will extend its third generation mobile network to cover 97% of the population, taking total spending on 3G infrastructure investment to NZ$500 million. The local unit of U.K.-based Vodafone PLC said its advanced mobile network would cover 97% of the places New Zealanders live and work in by 2010, up from the 63% coverage currently.

"The network extension means we'll be able to offer true broadband speeds to almost every New Zealander, and especially our rural customers, by April 2010," said Vodafone General Manager Corporate Affairs Tom Chignell. "This means broadband will be available on customers' mobiles and it can be used as a cost effective home solution, especially in areas where no land line-based broadband is available," he said. Vodafone said an enhancement of its downlink speed to 7.2 Megabits per second is currently being rolled out. In the future, peak downlink speeds will go up to 28.8 Mbps and uplink speeds 11.5 Mbps using High Speed Packet Access protocols.

Responding to the announcement, Communications Minister David Cunliffe said the country's regulatory regime has given telecommunications companies the flexibility to bring broadband to rural areas. "This announcement means that more New Zealanders will have access to high-speed internet via their home computers, laptops and on their mobile phones," Cunliffe said. "While many countries are still struggling with the removal of outdated restrictions on the use of lower frequency bands for HSPA, the flexible spectrum regulatory arrangements in New Zealand mean that the benefits of this technology can be delivered to New Zealanders now."

Vodafone is currently also ramping up competitive pressure on Telecom Corp. of New Zealand by aggressively rolling out new broadband and home phone products following regulation that split the former state-owned monopoly into three separate companies and gave rivals access to its network.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, July 04, 2008 2:44:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 02, 2008

China Telecom has revealed that it has in excess of 940,000 subscribers for its IPTV service, and expects to pass a million subscribers very soon. The service, provided in cooperation with Shanghai Media Group (SMG), has been available in Shanghai, Jiangxu, Guangdong, Zhejiang and Shaanxi since 2005 and offers broadcast and on-demand content, as well as information services. The telco recently issued a tender for the supply of 574,000 set-top boxes, including 536,000 high-definition units.

Fixed line rival China Netcom, meanwhile, offers IPTV services in six cities including Beijing, Harbin and Shenyang, with a reported 100,000 subscribers as of May 2008. It intends to expand coverage to a further ten cities by the end of this year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 2:42:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 30, 2008

According to the latest ROA Group report, the number of mobile WiMAX users in South Korea will increase to more than 2.5 million by 2011. The market revenues are also expected to increase to KRW65 billion (US$627 million) by 2011. Mobile WiMAX, called WiBro in Korea, was commercially launched in the country two years ago, on June 30, 2006, but due to insufficient CAPEX investment, resulting in poor service coverage and device line-up, the subscriber growth was slow, until KT started strong marketing strategies to attract subscribers in early 2007. The subscribers increased 5,600 in April 2007 to 106,000 in December 2007. In 2008, the subscribers are increasing by about 10,000 per month. In addition, KT and SKT, the two mobile WiMAX operators in Korea, have decided to expand their investment from 2008, and the mobile WiMAX market is expected to grow faster.

Moreover, the availability of VoIP will have a significant influence on subscriber addition. Currently, the biggest disadvantage with WiBro service is that it fails to provide a killer application. To become a 4G mobile technology, voice support is a must for WiBro and a necessary element for competing with HSDPA and its next generation version, LTE in 3G/4G mobile market, says Ku Kang, analyst at ROA Group.

To improve the service expansion, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) in Korea is developing NeMA (New Mobile Access), an upgraded version of WiBro. NeMA is a technology for the users who move at a high speed; at 100Mbps while moving at the maximum of 120km/h. In 2007 ETRI developed NoLA, which is LAN-based technology for the users who move at low speeds. ETRI plans to combine these two technologies and if it succeeds, the Korean market could witness next year a service that allows the users to use Internet in a moving vehicle on the highway.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, June 30, 2008 12:30:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 27, 2008

China's mobile phone accounts rise to 592 million; number of fixed-line accounts falls

China's fast-growing number of mobile phone accounts has risen more than 8 percent since the start of the year to 592 million, while demand for traditional fixed-line service is falling, a state news agency reported Thursday. The figures reflect a growing trend for Chinese customers to opt solely for mobile service. The shift has hurt fixed-line carriers, prompting Beijing to launch a massive industry reorganization to revive competition.

The number of mobile accounts in China grew by 44.8 million through the end of May, the Xinhua News Agency said, citing the Ministry of Information Industry. It said the number of fixed-line accounts fell by 6.5 million to 358 million. China has by far the world's largest population of mobile phone users. But several million have multiple phones for personal and business use, so the total number of subscribers is smaller than the number of accounts. The boom has turned China's dominant mobile carrier, China Mobile, into the world's biggest phone company by number of subscribers, with more than 400 million. Meanwhile, fixed-line carriers China Telecom and China Netcom have seen subscriber demand and profit growth slump.

That prompted Beijing to announce an industry restructuring in May aimed at creating more robust competitors to China Mobile. It would create three groups based around China Mobile, China Telecom and China Netcom, each with a mix of fixed-line and mobile assets. The government says the reorganization will clear the way for the long-awaited awarding of licenses for third-generation, or 3G, mobile service. That technology, which supports wireless video, Web surfing and other services, is expected to boost revenues for mobile carriers still further.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, June 27, 2008 9:42:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to MIC (Market Intelligence Center, Taiwan), an ICT industry research institute based in Taipei, mobile data services will be a key focus for Taiwanese telecom operators in 2008, with the growing popularity of 3G/3.5G mobile phones. Thanks to the promotional plans offered by telecom operators to boost 3G subscriber numbers, Taiwanese mobile phone market volume for the entire 2008 is expected to slightly advance 0.9% to 7.2 million units, with the share of WCDMA models expected to top 40%. Taiwanese mobile phone market sales volume advanced 6.7% sequentially to 1.90 million units in the first quarter of 2008, with market value reaching NT$11.2 billion (US$367.5 million; US$1=NT$30.5). According to MIC analyst Joyce Chen, "ASP (Average Selling Price) slipped to NT$5,882 (US$192.9), mainly due to promotional activities launched by Taiwanese telecom operator Chunghwa Telecom for its three low-price, entry-level 3G models, in a bid to boost 3G subscriber numbers and stimulate replacement demand". Sony Ericsson's Z610i and K530i models, both priced under NT$5,000 (US$163.9) received positive market reception, and this was also attributed to the ASP decline.

The share of WCDMA models jumped to 35.8% in the first quarter of 2008, up 7.8 percentage points from the fourth quarter 2007, with its market volume increasing by 181,000 units to 679,000 units in the first quarter. The share of GSM/GPRS models fell 7.4 percentage points to 60.6%, as many subscribers switched to WCDMA models. Regarding CDMA models, only sales of the low-price, entry-level Samsung S399 and Nokia N2505 models stood out, and thus the share of CDMA models slipped 0.4 percentage point to 3.6% in the first quarter.

The share of Smartphone and PDA phones reached 2.8% and 1.5% respectively in the first quarter 2008. Ms. Chen stated that in the Smartphone segment, the Nokia N73, N95, and N82 Smartphones achieved strong sales, while the PDA phone growth was derived from good market reception for the Touch series models Touch Color and Touch Dual.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, June 27, 2008 9:37:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The CDMA Development Group (CDG) has announced that, as of Q1 2008, Indonesia had more than 16.3 million CDMA2000 subscribers -- making it the leader in Southeast Asia for 3G CDMA subscriber growth. The CDG attributes the increase in large part to the availability of ultra low-cost handsets and affordable tariffs, which are critical to technology and service expansion in emerging markets. "Indonesia has emerged as a prime showcase of CDMA2000's core value proposition," said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDG. "With a dynamic combination of ultra low-cost handsets and value-added broadband services, Indonesia's six CDMA operators have boosted their revenue streams and propelled the region into the spotlight for mobile telephony and Internet growth."

Indonesia's CDMA2000 operators are Telkom Flexi (PT Telkom), StarOne (Indosat), Smart Telecom, Fren (Mobile-8 Telecom), Esia (Bakrie Telecom) and Ceria (Sampoerna Telekomunikasi Indonesia or STI). By March 2008, the total number of CDMA2000 subscribers among all six carriers exceeded 16.3 million, up from 14.4 million at the end of 2007 and 7.8 million at the end of 2006, representing annual growth rates of 53 percent and 85 percent, respectively.

Indonesia has the highest number of CDMA subscribers in Southeast Asia. "With CDMA2000, we are confident in providing a telecommunication service that is within reach by all people from all levels of society," said A.R. Martirez, Chief Executive Officer of PT Smart Telecom. "We are taking rapid steps to expand our penetration and market development through various products and services. This proves that CDMA2000 can readily fulfill all telecommunication wants and needs of customers in this country. And we demonstrate this with our value-for-money offer to the market, in terms of an economical tariff and affordable handsets, on a network that provides a pervasive yet efficient coverage. Best of all, it delivers a superior quality of service in both Voice and Data that customers expect."

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 9:27:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 23, 2008

According to IDC India, close to 85 million mobile phones were shipped in India between April 2007 and March 2008, compared to just under 66 million units shipped over the equivalent period a year ago. This was a record and amounts to a year-on-year growth of around 29 percent in terms of units.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, June 23, 2008 4:24:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 13, 2008

Japanís leading mobile operator by subscribers NTT DoCoMo has revealed it is cutting its monthly mobile tariffs in a bid to match rivals KDDI and Softbank Mobile, as the domestic mobile price war begins to intensify. DoCoMo still controls roughly half the market but has seen its share whittled away by its rivals in the past year. This month, KDDI unveiled a JPY980 (USD9.12) per month plan to compete with number three player Softbank, which has won more subscribers than either of its larger rivals since April 2007 on the back of its low-price strategy and aggressive advertising campaigns. Reuters reports that DoCoMo is dropping its lowest tariff plan by nearly 7% to JPY980 from July to match the competition.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 13, 2008 1:43:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 12, 2008

EW DELHI -(Dow Jones)- Bharti Airtel, India's biggest cellphone operator by subscribers, added 2.46 million mobile users in May, data issued by an industry body showed Wednesday.

As a result, Bharti's total mobile phone user base has grown to nearly 66.83 million subscribers at the end of May, data from the Cellular Operators Association of India showed.

In May, Vodafone Essar added 1.69 million mobile phone users taking its total subscriber base to 47.47 million, said COAI, which represents the nine operators using global system for mobile communications technology.

State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. added 314,281 mobile phone users, taking its total subscriber base to 37 million at the end of May.

Idea Cellular added 1.1 million users and had 26.14 million mobile phone subscribers at the end of May.

Another state-run operator, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (500108.BY), added 66,686 mobile phone users in May, taking its total subscriber base to 3.35 million.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 10:09:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A recent report published by DellíOro Group revealed that although GSM was not the largest contributor to the growth of the total mobility infrastructure market during the first quarter of 2008, it grew nearly 10 percent over the year ago quarter. Driving the growth of the GSM market was the second largest number ever of base station shipments, exceeded only by the previous quarter, and the stabilization of equipment prices.

ďFor the first time, Asia Pacific represented over half of all GSM revenue,Ē stated Scott Siegler, Analyst of Mobility Infrastructure research at DellíOro Group. ďBusiness in this highly price-sensitive region has resulted in double-digit quarter-to-quarter price reductions for the previous three quarters. Over these past several quarters, ASPís were pushed downward as vendors sold equipment at exceptionally steep discounts in order to establish and expand their footprint in the region. This quarter, in contrast, vendors became more selective in the deals they were accepting, balancing the economics of the sale with their gain in market share. For the first time in four quarters we have seen ASPís begin to stabilize,Ē Siegler continued.

The report also shows that the strong growth in GSM revenue offset the declines in the CDMA market which took a notable plunge during the first quarter.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 10:26:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 09, 2008

The total number of people signed up to one of Vietnamís four network operators Ė VinaPhone, MobiFone, Viettel and S-Fone Ė has passed 48 million and is closing in on the 50 million barrier, VietNamNet Bridge reports citing data published by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC). Of the total, around 90% are on a pre-paid option, the ministry said.

The leading operator by subscribers is Viettel with 19.42 million subscribers, followed by MobiFone with over 13.4 million, VinaPhone 12.1 million and 3.14 million for S-Fone. MICís Telecommunications Department calculates the totals based on the client management databases of the four network operators Ė a metric that it believes is more accurate than the operational figures published by the operators themselves.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 09, 2008 10:42:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

OKYO -(Dow Jones)- Softbank's mobile phone unit claimed the top spot in terms of net subscriber growth in May, pulling in more than double the number of net contracts garnered by bigger rivals NTT DoCoMo and KDDI.


Third-ranked Softbank, which this week announced a deal to sell Apple's popular iPhone, may be starting to significantly reduce the gap between it and second-ranked KDDI in Japan's intensely competitive mobile carrier market.

Data released Friday on new subscription contracts signed by Japan's three major cell phone carriers showed that Softbank Mobile gained a net 173,700 subscribers to its mobile phone service during the just-ended month, by far outpacing the net 72,400 that KDDI gained and the 60,900 subscribers that NTT DoCoMo pulled in.

In April, Softbank Mobile also won the battle for subscribers by a significant margin, picking up a net 192,900 contacts compared with a net 96,000 gain for DoCoMo and a 118,700 net fall in subscribers for KDDI, due to the termination of its so-called Tu-Ka service.

At the end of May, Softbank had about 18.95 million subscribers, while KDDI had about 30.29 million contracts.

However, both companies still have a long way to go to catch up with market leader DoCoMo, which reported 53.54 million users at the end of May.

The race to attract new subscribers is likely to heat up over the coming months, with all three companies rolling out new products and strategies to compete in Japan's saturated mobile service market.

Earlier this week, Softbank said it would begin selling the iPhone brand in Japan by the end of the year, scoring a blow against DoCoMo, which until that point had been expected to be the first to report a deal with the U.S. firm.

Not to be outdone by Softbank's aggressive marketing campaign, which features household names Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz using the company's products, DoCoMo late last month launched 19 handsets for its 906i and 706i series in an attempt to widen the array of phones it offers.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, June 09, 2008 8:54:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Citing figures from the Broadcasting Communications Commission (BCC), the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOIS) reports that the country's broadband subscriber base broke through the 15 million barrier during April. KT Corp leads the way with a 44.2% share of the market, followed by Hanarotelecom (24%) and LG Powercom (12.2%). The remainder is split between smaller companies such as LG Dacom. Hanarotelecom's customer numbers are expected to have fallen in May, however, after 3,000 former and current subscribers filed a class-action lawsuit against the company for allegedly selling their confidential information to telemarketers. LG Powercom stands as the company most likely to gain, according to industry watchers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 09, 2008 8:48:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 05, 2008

At the end of April, the number of mobile connections in India reached 264.19m, a 3.0% monthly increase. Excluding March 07, when Reliance suffered a net loss of over 4m due to the reclassification of its CDMA customers, this was the lowest proportionate monthly growth rate since April 2005. In absolute terms, there were 7.63m net additions in April 2008, the lowest figure for ten months. Nevertheless, this figure was 43.5% higher than the number of net additions recorded in April 2007, and in terms of annual net additions, a significant milestone was achieved: 101.82m net additions in the 12 months ending 30th April 2008, the first time the 100m mark has been passed in any market in the world.

GSM continues to dominate in India, with 73.77m net additions in the year compared to 28.05m for CDMA. At the end of April, there were 198.58m GSM customers and 65.61m CDMA. In proportionate terms, CDMA growth actually exceeded GSM growth in the 12 months ended 30 h April, with a 74.7% growth rate compared to GSMís 59.1%; however, the CDMA figure was skewed by the reclassification of Tataís WLL customer base as mobile in July 2007. Since then, GSMís share of the total has been gradually increasing, reaching 75.2% at the end of April.

Bharti is the clear market leader in India with 64.37m customers, almost 17m higher than its nearest rival Reliance. Its market share has been steadily increasing, from 24.0% at the end of April 2007 to 24.4% a year later. Meanwhile, Reliance and Vodafone have been battling for second place for some time now, although Reliance has succeeded in fending off Vodafoneís challenge so far, despite the gap closing to 0.64m at the end of August 2007. At the end of April 2008, Relianceís lead was 1.64m, with 47.42m customers compared to Vodafoneís 45.78m.

State-owned BSNL lost 0.14m customers in April but retained its fourth place with 36.26m. It lost 0.5pp market share in the month and 3.6pp annually. Meanwhile, IDEA finished on 25.04m, regaining the fifth place it ceded to Tata following the latterís WLL reclassification.

Source: Cellular News.

 

Thursday, June 05, 2008 9:12:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The CDMA Development Group (CDG) has announced that the CDMA industry continued its strong growth through the first quarter of 2008, increasing its customer base by almost 17% over the past year to 451 million CDMA subscribers worldwide, with CDMA2000 and CDMA2000 1xEV-DO reaching 438 million and 97 million, respectively. The Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions claimed the highest year-over-year percentage subscriber growth for CDMA2000, while the Americas and EMEA experienced the highest percentage of subscriber growth for CDMA2000 1xEV-DO.


In APAC, the total CDMA subscribership (cdmaOneTM and CDMA2000) rose to 231 million, which accounts for 51% of total worldwide CDMA subscribers and marks a 30% increase from March 2007 to March 2008. North Americaís 140 million subscribers claim the second highest percentage of global CDMA subscribers at approximately 31%, with CALAís 62.8 million representing approximately 14%. In EMEA, CDMA subscribership reached 17.7 million.

Over 97% of CDMA subscribers around the world are now taking advantage of 3G CDMA2000 services. CDMA2000 grew by 38% in APAC over the past year, bringing the total number of CDMA2000 subscribers in the region to 223 million, accounting for almost 51% of the worldís users. North America is the second largest region for CDMA2000 with nearly 138 million, or 31% of the global users. In EMEA, the CDMA2000 subscriber base reached 16.5 million.

CDMA2000 1xEV-DO subscribership increased to 97 million users globally, with 52 million subscribers in North America and 39 million subscribers in APAC continuing to comprise the majority of the worldís EV-DO users at 54% and 40%, respectively. Uptake is surging in North America and EMEA where increased demand for mobile broadband raised subscribership by 74%and 123%, respectively. The CDG attributes this growth to outstanding broadband performance and, for emerging markets, 3G CDMAís suitability across varied terrain to serve as an alternative to wireline Internet access.

To date, 38 EV-DO Revision A (Rev. A) networks are in commercial operation around the world, with another 35 networks in deployment.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008 8:05:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 02, 2008

Upwards of a million SIM cards will have started to be disconnected in Bangladesh over the weekend as they have missed a deadline to have their user details registered with the operators. The disconnected SIM cards can only be reactivated if the user provides suitable reasons for missing the registration deadline. The million number, supplied by Manzurul Alam, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is a significant improvement on the estimated 3 million unregistered SIM cards in circulation just a month ago. It is estimated that the majority of the remaining SIM cards are connected to the Grameenphone network.

The regulator issued a decree to the operators to force all subscribers to register their mobile accounts and provide proof of ID to the operators. The deadline for subscribers to register their details has been extended several times - but not any more. To register their SIM card - customers must produce two copies of passport size photo, passport or any photo ID card and the forms and documents given during subscription. If a retailer sells a SIM card without proof of ID they will face a fine of US$10 per infraction.

Bangladesh ended the first quarter with just under 39 million subscribers - and according to figures from the Mobile World, Grameenphone is the dominant operator with (currently) some 17.5 million customers and a marker share of just under 46%.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, June 02, 2008 7:53:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 23, 2008

BEIJING -(Dow Jones)- China's mobile-phone users at the end of April rose to 583.5 million, up by 8.9 million from end-March, data issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information showed.

The growth in the number of mobile users slowed in April compared with the net additions of 9.4 million in March, according to statistics issued on the ministry's Web site Wednesday.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News

Friday, May 23, 2008 8:38:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Five of Asia Pacificís largest markets report monthly numbers, and in this article we present a round-up of the figures for April 2008.

Figure: Asia Monthly Customer Growth

China, the largest market in the region and the world, reached 566.69m customers at the end of April, up 20.4% year on year. GSM is the dominant technology here with 92.4% of the total, up 0.7pp year on year. Only one of the countryís two operators (China Unicom) uses CDMA technology, and the annual growth rate for this standard was much lower at 10.6%. Unicom continued to lose market share to its rival China Mobile in April, a 2.0pp annual decline taking its proportion of the total customer base to 29.7%.

India is the second largest market in the region, and as in China GSM is prevalent. The exact percentage for the end of April is not yet available as the regulatory body responsible for releasing CDMA figures is yet to publish its April data; however, we expect GSMís share to rise above the 75.1% recorded at the end of March. GSM customers reached 198.58m, up 59.1% year on year.

Japan was the third largest market in Asia Pacific at the end of 2007, although it may well have been surpassed by Indonesia by now. At the end of April, there were 102.99m mobile connections in Japan, up 6.0% year on year. W-CDMA dominates here with 57.7% of the market at the end of April, up 11.8pp compared to April 2007.

It is possible that Pakistan will also have overtaken Japan by this time next year. At the end of April it had 85.03m customers, up 45.6% year on year. Here the technology is almost exclusively GSM, with only 0.32m analogue connections remaining.

South Korea is the eighth largest market in the region, although Bangladesh is likely to supersede it by the end of the year. There were 44.50m mobile connections in South Korea at the end of April, a yearly gain of 7.5%.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 11:59:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 16, 2008

India's Bharti Airtel has announced its achievement of crossing the 4-million customer mark in Delhi, adding that it has become the first and the only mobile operator to achieve this milestone in a Metro circle. Airtelís journey to the 4 million landmark has been path - breaking, having added the last million in just 14 months.

In the year ahead, Airtel says that it will continue to focus and build on its network and customer service. Airtel currently has an extensive network of cell sites across Delhi and NCR and plans to increase them by over 26 % in FY 08-09.

Mr. Shashi Arora, CEO- Airtel Delhi circle, (Mobility) Bharti Airtel, said, ďThe 4 million milestone speaks volumes of the trust that our customers have in the Airtel brand. This achievement is a testimony of our ability to offer innovative and affordable services like Super Lifetime, Re 1 Local tariff, reduced STD and Roaming tariffs etc. As we move forward, I take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to provide high-quality services and value for money products to our customers.Ē

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, May 16, 2008 8:48:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 13, 2008

At the Canalys Navigation Forum in Taipei this week there will be a lot of discussion by industry experts about the future of Taiwanís role in both the global and Asia-Pacific regional markets for satellite navigation solutions. But Taiwanís local market will also be considered, with the first presentation of results from a new survey of over 1,000 Taiwan consumers, which explores the local opportunity for GPS navigation and location-based services on mobile phones and portable navigation devices (PNDs).

Click here to see full article

ďWhen asked which services they were interested in having on their mobile phone, whether for free or at a small ongoing cost, maps and navigation came top,Ē added Canalys analyst Daryl Chiam. ďThis was much more popular than having television or music on the phone, and these were some way ahead of services that are spreading out from use on the PC, such as web browsing, e-mail and instant messaging. We find that, although consumer mobile application preferences can vary quite a lot by country, having maps, location and navigation information is usually at, or very near, the top of the list.Ē

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 2:08:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India's state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has set out the rules for a massive 93 million line GSM cellular order - with 21 million of those lines to be 3G - worth an estimated $6.5 billion and believed to be the largest cellular tender available in the world today.

Click here to see full article

Putting the size of the BSNL tender in perspective, as of the end of March, BSNL had 36.21 million GSM subscribers and 4.58 million CDMA-based fixed-wireless subscribers. That puts it fourth in size the Indian market behind Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, and Vodafone Essar. BSNL blames its line count in large part on its failure to get all the lines it wanted in 2006, leaving it capacity-constrained in the face of more nimble and rapidly growing private carriers. It also blames from ITI, and by implication Alcatel Lucent, for delays in receiving equipment.

Dramatizing just how hot Indian cellular market growth has become, the BSNL contract is equivalent to around 40 percent of the country's entire current mobile subscriber base. The total now stands at a bit more than 260 million subscribers, of whom 75 million are CDMA and the majority GSM.

Source: TelecomWeb.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 8:38:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 12, 2008

The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) region in south-eastern Bangladesh has finally been brought under coverage of mobile phone services with the launching of test operations by state-owned Teletalk in the Bandarban, Rangamati and Khagrachhari districts, reports local newspaper The Daily Star. The three hilly districts, which border India and Myanmar (Burma) and have a population of over a million, are reportedly the last in Bangladesh to be connected to mobile networks. Local sources also said private operators have begun installing base stations in the CHT.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, May 12, 2008 3:49:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bangladesh based Warid Telecom has announced plans to invest around US$250 million over the next twelve months to expand its network coverage. The company, which only launched its service a year ago is already the country's fourth largest operator by subscriber numbers.

"We haven't reached the optimum level in terms of subscriber acquisition," said Warid's CEO, Muneer Farooqui, adding, "Our strategy is to go ahead with best quality network. So, we have no intention to have a huge number of subscribers if we fail to provide them best services only."

Farooqui also called on the government to lower the BDT800 (US$11.80) tax on each SIM card sold - which was only introduced in 2004 - as it was slowing the expansion of mobile services into rural areas. "This tax is tremendously affecting our business," he said.

The operator launched its network with coverage in 28 districts, which has now been expanded to include 61 districts - out of 64 for the country as a whole.

The country already has six operators - and according to figures from the Mobile World, ended last year with just under 34.4 million mobile subscribers - which is still a population penetration level of just 22.6%. Also worth noting is that while the country has six operators, only four of them are of any significant scale, Grameenphone (15m), Banglalink (6m) and Aktel (7m) and finally, Warid Telecom (2.1m). The two remaining long term incumbents, Citycell and Teletalk barely add up to 2 million customers between them.

The country is currently under military controlled emergency law, and it is expected that democratic elections may be held later this year. Brig General (Retd) MA Malek who head the Ministry of Telecommunications is a military appointment.

Vodafone has also been reported to be seeking an investment opportunity in the country - generally thought to be through a buyout of the 30% shareholder in Aktel, textiles group AK Khan for around US$300 million.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, May 12, 2008 2:01:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 08, 2008

Bangladesh's operators face the loss of a collective 3 million subscribers as a deadline to register each active SIM card by the end of this month will not be extended. Manzurul Alam, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) told reporters that "the re-registration deadline won't be extended anymore,"

Click here to see full article

Bangladesh ended the first quarter with just under 39 million subscribers - and according to figures from the Mobile World, Grameenphone is the dominant operator with (currently) some 17.5 million customers and a marker share of just under 46%.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, May 08, 2008 9:22:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The number of mobile connections in South Korea reached 44.27m at the end of March 2008, with just under 260.0k net additions in the month. This was 21% lower than the March 2007 figure of 329.1k. On a quarterly basis growth was also down, with net additions of 768.5k in Q1 08 compared to 904.1k in Q1 07, and proportionate growth falling from 2.2% to 1.8%. However, the Q1 08 growth rate was higher than the rates recorded in both Q1 05 and Q1 06, and on a rolling annual basis the growth rate of 7.7% was the third highest over the past three years behind the 7.8% and 8.2% rates of Q3 07 and Q4 07 respectively.

Monthly Churn Rates, April 2007 - March 2008

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 8:57:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 24, 2008

Batelco has posted a 10.8% year-on-year rise in net profit to BHD27.4 million (USD72.7 million) for the first quarter of 2008, on revenues that were driven up 17.4% by overseas operations to BHD78.1 million. A company official said that the Bahraini former monopoly achieved a milestone of over 700,000 mobile subscribers in the Kingdom by the end of March, whilst its consolidated group mobile user base reached 3.3 million. Foreign operations now contribute approximately a third of Batelcoís revenues and more than 20% of its operating income.

Batelco also announced that its pre-paid wireless customers can now enjoy mobile broadband services on handsets, laptops and datacard-equipped devices at maximum downstream connection speeds of 3.6Mbps. The operator has expanded its HSDPA-based O-Net Mobile Broadband service to the pre-paid segment following a contract-only launch at the beginning of this year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, April 24, 2008 1:37:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Wireless network operator SK Telecom has reported a 3% decline in its first-quarter net profit as a result of higher expenses. Net income for the three months ended 31 March 2008 was SKW382.89 billion (USD387 million), down from SKW396.31 billion in the same period of 2007. Operating revenue for the quarter rose 5% to SKW2,837 billion from SKW2,712 billion a year earlier, but was down 3% on the SKW2,916 billion recorded in the preceding fourth quarter. The company's total subscribers base rose 8% year-on-year to 22.37 million, despite monthly churn rising from 2.6% to 3.1%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, April 24, 2008 1:36:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It is clear that the Asia Pacific region is a GSM stronghold, with 1.075 billion of the total 1.36 billion connections using that system and a further 85 million using 3rd Generation W-CDMA. These numbers compare with 1.003 billion and 75.0 million at the end of Q3 07 and 817.6 million and 48.3 million one year earlier, implying annual growth rates of 32% and 77% respectively.

Asia Pacific: Customers by Technology

However, GSM is not the only force in the market and for the moment at least, CDMA is still gaining ground.

It closed the quarter with 182.9 million connections, up 8.2% on the quarter and 21% on the year. The US technology may be wilting in other markets, but its presence in India gives it a lifeline here. How long this will continue though is not clear. In Australia, the technology will become extinct next week as Telstra is finally allowed to shut down its network in favour of its new ďNextGĒ W-CDMA alternative. Reliance, Indiaís largest CDMA operator now has over 6 million of its 41 million total connected to GSM systems, while even more worryingly, South Korea seems to be moving away too. At the end of 2006, there were just 30k W-CDMA customers out of a total base of 41 million. At the end of 2007, this number had leapt to over 6 million, with CDMA declining to 37.6 million.

In total, there are five other technologies in use within the AsiaPac region, but all five are in clear decline. There are now fewer than 100,000 customers connected to first generation analogue technology (represented by AMPS, ETACS and NMT). This compares with over 700k three years ago. Other second generation technologies are not faring well either. The US TDMA standard has now almost completely disappeared with fewer than 350k connections in total, while Japanís PDC system is in steady decline, losing another 2.7 million customers this quarter to end at 16.76 million.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 8:46:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 22, 2008

From data by CCID Consulting, the sales volume in China's mobile phone market is 150 million units in 2007, which is 24.1% more than that of 2006. If black- market mobiles from smuggling, unregistered brands and other illegal products are counted, the number exceeded 200 million in 2007.

Sales & Growth Rate of China Mobile Market 2000-2007

In 2007, over 60% of users changed their mobiles with over 90 million mobiles sold for this purpose. The reasons could be attributed to faster function upgrades, higher performance- price ratio, shorter product life cycle, and customized service by the network operators. The number of new subscriber reached a new record in recent years with over 86 million new subscribers in 2007 and over 7 million per month.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 2:46:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 21, 2008

Taiwan's Institute for Information Industry has issued a report on the telecoms market and says that 3G subscriptions reached 6.91 million at the end of last year - representing a rise of 16.5% and a total base of 28.5%. 2G subscriptions fell by 4.2 % to 15.9 million. The Institute anticipates that 3G subscriptions will top 10 million, or 40% of the total base by the end of this year.

The population penetration level reached 105.8 percent.

The Institute also reported that text messaging volumes rose by 26% to 1,256 billion in the fourth quarter of last year. The average subscriber sent just over 54 text messages during the quarter and 18 text messages per month.

Mobile internet access increased by 7.8% to 11.86 million and nearly half of all mobile phones sold included mobile internet services. Just over 55% of mobile internet access is carried out via a 3G handset, compared to 32% being carried out over a GPRS network.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, April 21, 2008 9:03:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Given the explosive growth in mobile communications, India, through its use of a variety of wireless technologies, aims to reach 500 million subscribers by 2010, according to private sector and government officials attending a Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) conference in Kerala, India. India forecasts that its current level of 240 million subscribers will be doubled within less than two years, thanks to the policies being implemented by the Government of India, especially for universal access in rural and suburban areas.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, April 21, 2008 8:52:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 18, 2008

Pakistan's mobile operators have blocked some 1.36 million SIM cards since the beginning of the year after their owners failed to register them as is now required. In addition, even subscribers who did register their details had a limit of 10 SIMs per person imposed and any additional SIM cards were cut off.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, April 18, 2008 9:57:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 17, 2008

According to new data from the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC), the countryís mobile operators added 1.38 million new subscribers in March 2008 to raise the total user base to 38.93 million. The figures show that market leading Telenor subsidiary GrameenPhoneís subscriber base increased by 610,000 in March to reach 17.81 million; Orascom Telecomís Banglalinkís customer base grew by 430,000 to 8.31 million; Telecom Malaysia International Bangladesh (AKTEL) signed up 90,000 users to take its total to 7.45 million (after slipping behind Banglalink in the first two months of the year); Warid Telecom Bangladesh (which launched in May 2007) has already firmly established itself in fourth place with 2.79 million subscribers at the end of March, up from 2.6 million in February; SingTel-backed CityCell (the only CDMA operator in a GSM-dominated field) added 50,000 users to end the month with 1.56 million; and finally state-owned Teletalk was reported to have 1.01 million customers, compared to a million the month before. The latest growth figures bring the impoverished countryís cellular penetration rate to an estimated 27%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, April 17, 2008 1:44:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Russia's largest mobile phone operator, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), has reported that net profit for 2007 almost doubled to USD2.07 billion compared to USD1.08 billion in 2006. Revenue for the year ended 31 December 2007 increased 29% to USD8.25 billion from USD6.38 billion. Consolidated OIBDA grew 31% to USD4.223 billion, with OIBDA margin amounting to 51.2%, up from 50.6% in 2006. Subscriber numbers across the group's operations rose 13% to 85.77 million, while it gained 6.21 million new subscribers in Russia during 2007.

On a quarterly basis, MTSís net profit more than quadrupled in the final three months of the year to USD460 million compared to USD110 million in same period of 2006. This was less than analysts had anticipated, but revenues, which rose to USD2.33 billion in the period from USD1.81 billion a year ago, were higher than forecasted. MTS said monthly ARPU rose to USD10 in Russia in the fourth quarter.

MTS said it expects revenues to grow by at least 25% in 2008, fuelled by an increase in the demand for voice services and a higher consumption of extra services and data transfer. The company plans capital expenditure of up to USD2.5 billion for the year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, April 17, 2008 1:43:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 15, 2008

While Bluetooth has been in the market for almost a decade, it has not proliferated widely in Asia. In terms of consumer awareness, this region still lags behind others. However, the picture is changing, especially when it comes to cellular handsets, and a new study from ABI Research indicates that Bluetooth-enabled equipment shipments in Asia will reach 982 million units in 2013, representing a compound annual growth rate of 39% over 2006 shipments.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 5:20:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 14, 2008

MUMBAI -(Dow Jones)- Indian telecommunications operator Bharti Airtel added 2.31 million mobile phone subscribers in March, industry data showed Friday.

As a result, Bharti's total mobile phone user base has grown to 61.98 million subscribers at the end of March, according to data released by the Cellular Operators Association of India.

In March, Vodafone Essar added 1.57 million mobile phone users taking its total subscriber base to 44.13 million, said COAI, which represents the 10 operators using the global system for mobile communications technology.

State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) added 1.64 million mobile phone users, taking its total subscriber base to 36.21 million at the end of March.

Idea Cellular added 1.13 million users and had 24 million mobile phone subscribers at the end of March.

Another state-run operator, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd., added 120,020 new mobile phone users in March and has a total subscriber base of 3.24 million

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, April 14, 2008 8:58:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 10, 2008

Malaysiaís Business Edge newspaper writes that Maxis Mobile is aiming to hit the target of two million 3G subscribers, having achieved the figure of 1.3 million by the end of March 2008. Maxis chief executive Sandip Das said: ĎAs 3G services are increasingly being offered globally, we hope to see the prices of 3G handset devices falling. With that, we hope we will be able to cross the two million mark very shortly. Most of Malaysians buying new phones now are buying 3G-enabled phones, and that gives us a very big opportunity.í

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, April 10, 2008 2:24:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 09, 2008

GFK Vietnam has published a report into the local mobile telecoms market and has predicted that 8 million handsets will be sold this year - double the figure just 2 years ago. Revenues are projected to reach US1.1. billion.

Click here to see full article

According to the retailer, around a third of customers brought handsets in the US$93-$188 price range - a rise of 24% over the past year. The company said that Nokia was the main beneficiary of the move up market as its market share rose by 10 percent.

Samsung Mobile's Director in Vietnam, Nguyen Hong Chau predicted that reasonably-priced products would account for as much as 60 percent of total market sales this year with mobile producers trying to develop new products to cater to different market segments.

The Mobile World analysts estimate that Vietnam ended last year with some 35.7 million subscribers (29.4m GSM, 6.3m CDMA) - representing a population penetration level of 42%.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 1:45:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to Armenialiberty.org, Vimpelcom plans to invest USD74 million this year in ArmenTel as part of the ongoing modernisation of the telcoís fixed and mobile networks. An estimated USD90 million was spent during 2007, and senior VimpelCom executives have said that the additional expenditure is aimed partly at reversing ArmenTelís falling share of the wireless market. According to TeleGeographyís GlobalComms database, in June 2005 ArmenTel claimed 100% of the countryís wireless subscribers, but following the launch of MTS-backed VivaCell the company saw its share of the mobile market dwindle to just 24.3% by the end of 2007. Dmitry Pleskonos, a VimpelCom vice-chairman, blamed the drop on the ongoing upgrading of the ArmenTel network, which causes periodical disruptions in phone connection, and VivaCellís aggressive marketing strategy. ĎWe did not react sufficiently to the activity displayed by our business competitors,í he told a news conference in Yerevan yesterday. Pleskonos and other VimpelCom executives were speaking to journalists as ArmenTel officially renamed its wireless division Beeline, the brand name used by VimpelCom and its other subsidiaries.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 9:11:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Natrindo Telepon Selular has revealed it plans to spend more than USD500 million deploying its network and expanding coverage in 2008. The cellco began offering revamped services in East Java in February 2008, and hopes to expand to the capital Jakarta by the end of April, before attaining nationwide coverage by the end of the year. The company is now using the brand name Axis as it seeks to distinguish itself from its previous incarnation Ė under the Lippo moniker Ė that failed to make any kind of dent in the market.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 9:06:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 07, 2008

Nokia India expects that the country will have 500 million mobile phone users by 2010 - with 60 million of them having mobile video capability and 100 million using mobile music services. Speaking at the Goafest conclave, vice-president and managing director Nokia India, D Shivakumar, salso said that half the subscribers would be accessing the internet via their mobile phone.

He said, ďMobile phones are not just about voice anymore. Services delivered through mobiles would open up a big opportunity for the advertisers in India with a huge untapped potential.Ē

He broke the market down into three core sections. The top end of the market will be limited to some 50 million customers with mid-range but value oriented customers making up some 150 million subscribers. The third tier, he said is unique to India and would be dominated by low cost basic handsets with minimal functionality.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, April 07, 2008 9:13:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 04, 2008

Taiwanese 3G mobile operator Vibo Telecom yesterday said that it planned to lower its capital spending by 44% this year to focus on further improving its network coverage with the aim of reaching 98% of the population by the end of 2008. The celco plans to spend TWD2 billion (USD66 million) mainly on adding new 3G base stations and upgrading some existing base stations to the HSDPA 3.5G standard. In 2007, Vibo spent TWD3.6 billion on new equipment. The company currently has 4,500 base stations nationwide, and hopes for another 1,000 to be operational by year end. It has about 600,000 subscribers at present and is planning to have more than one million by the end of this year. Company President Chang Feng-hsiung said that Vibo hopes for revenues of TWD6 billion in 2008, which would be a 43% increase on last year's TWD4.19 billion. The company is also considering a new round of share sales to raise funds for operational expenses.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, April 04, 2008 7:55:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Privately owned Thai telco TT&Tís consolidated revenues in 2007 rose by 8% to THB6.932 billion (USD222 million), largely driven by broadband sales, according to a company release. Despite the turnover increase, the operator recorded a net loss of THB2.028 billion, almost double the loss of THB1.08 billion recorded in 2006. Moreover, the earnings before exchange rate and income tax gains worsened year-on-year from a net loss of THB2.372 billion in 2006 to a net loss of THB2.606 in 2007 due mainly to the decline in revenue from fixed line voice services and start-up operating costs of new services which are expected to generate a large proportion of revenue in the future. TT&T had 1.23 million local fixed lines in service at the end of December 2007, down from 1.24 million a year before.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, April 04, 2008 7:54:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Under a new strategic partnership between Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and Indian fixed line telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), more than 25,000 Indian villages will be supplied with broadband access via an ADSL2+ network. Under the terms of the agreement, BSNL will deploy NSNís multi-play solution, which will allow it to deliver cost-effective, high speed Internet access and Virtual Private Network services to its customers. The network will also enable BSNL to provide connectivity to community service centres and other e-governance locations.

As part of the contract, NSN will deploy its Gigabit Ethernet-capable IP DSLAMs SURPASS hiX5625 and chassis-based access switch (SURPASS hiD6615). It will also supply customer premises equipment that will enable BSNL to provide speeds of up to 8Mbps. The network will be ready for commercial operation by July 2008. NSN is in parallel deploying equipment for BSNL for urban broadband access across 20 circles.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 3:53:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Taiwanís largest cellular operator by subscribers, Chunghwa Telecom, says it is cutting its 3G tariffs in order to boost take-up of its high speed services. The firm is hoping to see a 50% increase in UMTS customers in 2008 to end the year with 3.3 million subscribers. Cross-network anytime tariffs for 3G customers will fall to as low as TWD0.06 (USD0.001) per second, according to a report from the China Post. Chunghwa is also offering increased maximum bundled minutes and further discounts on 3G handsets.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 3:52:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 31, 2008

With the Summer Olympics now only months away, China finally has given permission to start commercial trials of 3G cellular technology but, at this point, only of the country's home-grown Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (TD-SCDMA).

China has been promising some sort of 3G service in time for the international event, and the country's (and the world's) largest carrier, China Mobile, has now built TD-SCDMA networks in eight cities, including the five Olympic venues. Interestingly, the Chinese have not yet formally issued frequency spectrum allocations for 3G, but that's apparently going to be little more than a formality. Under its commercial trial license, China Mobile reveals, it's built a network with a capacity of some eight million users.

Click here to see full article

Source: TelecomWeb.

Monday, March 31, 2008 10:45:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 28, 2008

VietNamNet Bridge has reported that ADSL penetration is not what it could be in Vietnam. ADSL first appeared in the country in 2004 and subscriptions grew 150% in both 2006 and 2007, but the percentage of ADSL users is still low. By September 2007 there were 4.9 million internet subscribers and around 17.5 million internet users, accounting for nearly 21% of the population, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC). ADSL subscribers accounted for 21% of the total or around 1.04 million. Some 65% of them were in Hanoi and HCM City. ADSL charges in Vietnam are reported to be at similar level to other countries in Southeast Asia, but service quality is still lacking, with lower than promised speeds and unstable connections beyond Hanoi and HCM City.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, March 28, 2008 11:04:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 27, 2008

Qatarís monopoly telecoms provider Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has announced that it crossed the 1.4 million subscriber mark early this month, including around 1.2 million GSM mobile subscriptions and over 200,000 fixed lines. The achievement, in a country with a population of less than a million, was driven by positive customer response to recent promotions, particularly its current ĎHala Line for Freeí campaign, according to a spokesperson. According to TeleGeographyís GlobalComms database, wireless penetration in the country passed 100% in 2006, and Qtel signed up its one millionth mobile subscriber in March 2007. A rival GSM network being set up by a consortium led by Vodafone Group is scheduled to end Qtelís monopoly by the end of this year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:34:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to DigiTimes.com, Taiwan's National Communications Commission (NCC) has approved a reduction by an average of 8.4% in monthly circuit-leased fees for using Chunghwa Telecom (CHT's) ADSL services. The cheaper tariffs, which will take effect from 1 April 2008, were proposed by the company following a request from the NCC that it lower its prices. Of CHT's ADSL customers, 3.526 million or 95.4% will be subject to the price cut. Since CHT is to cease installation of further 2Mbps/512Kbps ADSL services, the company has not offered price cuts for corresponding subscribers, the NCC added.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:33:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 26, 2008

CEO Marwan Al-Ahmadi has revealed that Zain Saudi Arabia plans to start operations by June of this year, over a network initially covering 53% of the population. Roaming agreements with rivals Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Mobily will be sought to increase coverage further, although the executive did add that Zain planned to be fully dependent on its own infrastructure within the next three years.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008 8:33:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 25, 2008

China Netcom has posted an unexpected increase in full-year profit after signing up more broadband subscribers than expected. Net income for the twelve months ended 31 December 2007 rose to RMB10.58 billion (USD1.5 billion), from RMB10.55 billion a year earlier. Sales rose to RMB84 billion from a restated RMB84.1 billion in 2006. During the year Netcomís broadband subscriber base rose 37% to 19.77 million, while its local access customers fell by 2.8% to 110.82 million, of which 84.6 million were fixed line (down 2.3% year-on-year) and 26.2 million PHS (down 4.1%). Broadband ARPU climbed 3.9% to RMB67.4 while the corresponding figure for local access slipped by 9.6% to RMB36.6.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:50:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India's Telecoms Regulatory Authority (TRAI) has reported that a total of 8.49 million telephone connections have been added during February 2008 as compared to 8.74 million connections added in January 2008. The total number of telephone connections reaches 290.11 million at the end of February 2008 as compared to 281.62 million in January 2008. The overall tele-density is 25.31% at the end of February 2008 as against 24.63% in January 2008.

In the wireless segment, 8.53 million subscribers have been added in the month of February 2008 as against 8.77 million subscribers added in the month of January 2008. The total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & WLL(F)) base stood at 250.93 million at the end of February 2008.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:45:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

KARACHI -(Dow Jones)- Foreign investment in Pakistan's telecom sector witnessed a 7.2% growth on year in the first six months of the current financial year that began July 1, government data issued Wednesday showed.

During the July-December period, foreigners invested $1.314 billion in the country's telecom sector compared with $1.225 billion during the same period last year, Islamabad-based Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said in a report.

During the last four years, the telecom sector has attracted over $5 billion as foreign direct investment, the report said.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:40:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Research firm, IDC says that the telecommunications data services market in emerging Asian countries (defined as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam) is projected to collectively grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36% from 2007-2011. The data segment, which includes mobile data services, fixed line corporate data and Internet access services, grew strongly at 258% year-on-year in 2006, reaching US$952 million.

Click here to see full article

The mobile data segment from the four countries is anticipated to escalate at 41% CAGR from 2007-2011, driven by expected growth in SMS usage. As more high-speed networks become available, other data revenue, apart from SMS, will rise in significance in the coming years.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:37:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Earlier today, figures released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) point to that country becoming the second largest wireless market in the world by the end of April.

More than 8.5 million wireless subscribers were added in February, compared with 8.77 million subs who cut the cord in January. The total wireless subscriber base (GSM, CDMA & WLL[F]) stood at 250.93 million at the end of February.

Currently, China is the world's largest wireless network, and it's adding between 6 million and 7 million subscribers every month. According to CTIA-The Wireless Association, the current U.S. wireless subscriber base is 256 million. The United States is adding between 2 million and 3 million subscribers in a month, while India's monthly wireless subscriber addition is highest, in the range of between 8 million and 9 million a month, TRAI says.

Click here to see full article

Source: Telecom Web.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:30:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The number of mobile connections in Pakistan squeezed past the 80m barrier in February, reaching 80.001m at the end of the month. In Issue 105 of The Mobile World Briefing, we remarked that growth seemed to be slowing in Pakistan and the latest result confirms this impression: the figure for monthly net additions (1.26m) was the lowest since November 2005.

February 2008's figure was almost half that of February 2007, when there were 2.20m new connections. Moreover, February represented the second consecutive month with fewer than 2m new connections, the first such occurrence in two years.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:28:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 20, 2008

China Mobile has announced that its net profit rose 31.9% in 2007 to RMB87.06 billion (USD12.31 billion) on the back of strong subscriber growth and improved airtime usage. China's largest mobile operator said turnover in the twelve months ended 31 December 2007 grew 20.9% to RMB356.96 billion from RMB295.36 billion a year earlier. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 21.6% to RMB194 billion, while earnings per share rose 31% to RMB4.35.

Operationally, the worldís largest wireless network operator added 68.11 million net new subscribers during the year to take its total to 369.34 million. Monthly average minutes of use per customer was 455 minutes, up from an average of 381 in 2006, while monthly ARPU was steady at RMB89.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 20, 2008 10:13:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Kuwaitís National Mobile Telecommunications Co (Wataniya) has reported a 51.5% rise in profit for 2007 at KWD80.7 million (USD282.6 million) on revenues of KWD407.6 million, up 26% year-on-year. The firm, which is a subsidiary of Qatar Telecom, is predicting further rises in profits and revenues in 2008. 52% of sales came from Wataniyaís domestic market in 2007, with the remainder from its operations in Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and the Maldives. Wataniya had 9.54 million subscribers across its mobile operations at the end of December.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 4:29:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Indonesian fixed wireless service provider Bakrie Telecom ended 2007 with 3.82 million subscribers, up 147% from 1.55 million a year earlier, reports Antara News. The gains helped drive a 112% rise in revenue to IDR1.29 trillion (USD140.7 million), up from IDR607.07 billion the previous year. Net income soared 98% from IDR71.7 billion to IDR144.3 billion as Bakrie expanded its network service to 17 more cities, bringing the number of cities it covers to 34. It hopes to have signed up 14 million customers by 2011 and plans to deploy a further 1,000 base transceiver stations this year alone. The operator has set aside 63% of this yearís allocated CAPEX of USD232 million on network expansion and says it will spend approximately USD600 million until 2010 on improving its networks and services.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 4:28:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China has surged past the United States in its total number of Internet users, knocking America off the Number One pole position it's held for nearly 40 years.

According to a new report released by Chinese research house BDA, because of the disparate size of the two countries' populations, the United States is unlikely to ever catch up.

China's online population passed 228 million as of the end of last month, BDA estimates; to come up with that number, BDA cites figures from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) saying that, at the end of last year, there were 210 million Chinese Internet users. That represents an increase of 73 million (53.3 percent) compared with usage at the end of 2006. In comparison, BDA points to Nielsen/NetRatings estimates that put the U.S. Internet population at 216 million at the end of 2007 and growing at a far slower pace.

Click here to see full article

Source: TelecomWeb.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 4:23:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 17, 2008

Viet Nam News, a national English daily, has revealed Viettel has slashed off-peak call charges by 75% as it seeks to ignite demand and attract more users. The military-run cellco said the new charges were down to VND500 (USD0.03) a minute for calls between Viettel subscribers and VND1,000 for calls to other networks Ė the lowest rates in a highly competitive market. Managing director Tong Viet Trung said that the company was able to make such drastic price cuts because its network and services were running at optimal levels, enabling them to reduce operating costs. ĎWe hope promotion will increase the number of Viettel subscribers from 15 million to 22 million by year end,í he added. According to TeleGeographyís GlobalComms database Viettel is the countryís largest wireless operator by subscribers. It plans to install an additional 4,000 base transmission stations in 2008, bringing the total number to 10,000.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 17, 2008 2:29:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Indonesiaís leading telecoms operator by subscribers and revenues PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) says the number of people signed up to its fixed wireless access (FWA) service ĎFlexií will climb to ten million users this year, up from 6.4 million at the end of 2007, leapfrogging its traditional copper-wire based service which had 8.7 million users at the same date. Telkomís fixed line subscriber base has been climbing relatively slowly for a number of years, and is now being overtaken by wireless alternatives which are cheaper and quicker to deploy. The incumbent also owns a 65% stake in Indonesia's biggest cellular operator by subscribers Telkomsel, which had 47.9 million clients at the end of 2007, up 35% year-on-year.

The limited mobility Flexi service has become increasingly popular on the back of a number of high-profile marketing initiatives, said Telkom vice president for public and marketing communication, Eddy Kurnia, as quoted by Thomson Financial. The operatorís latest offer, Ď5 Get 5í, targets users in Sumatra, Central Java and Yogyakarta, Kalimantan and East Indonesia, allowing them to send a minimum of five SMS and get a bonus of five for free.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 17, 2008 9:59:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 14, 2008

The Asia-Pacific mobile video services market is expected to see huge growth potential as mobile operators continue to spend millions on developing innovative services and content to arrest the declining average revenue per user (ARPU). Mobile TV, essentially an extension of mobile video services, in particular is seen as a new killer application that could potentially bring alternative source of revenues for carriers.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the mobile video services market - covering 12 Asia-Pacific countries ex-Japan - earned revenues of over US$440 million in 2007 and estimates this to reach US$1.88 billion by end-2013, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 27.4 percent (2007-2013).

While South Korea (which accounted for 87 percent or US$383.7 million of the revenues in 2007) will remain as the biggest market for mobile video in Asia-Pacific (outside of Japan), other potential leading markets include Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, March 14, 2008 12:50:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 13, 2008

In 2004, there were only 520 square miles of networked municipal Wi-Fi. However, ABI Research forecasts a nearly sixty-fold increase over the next several years, to more than 30,000 square miles. Varying levels of maturity and acceptance exist within this market, spread across global regions and individual countries. The following is a snapshot of some major variations, according to recent analysis from ABI Research:

  • North America: Leads in deployments; but in many cases, the region employs the wrong business plan of free consumer access and free infrastructure; consolidating incumbent service providers view municipal Wi-Fi as a competitive threat.
  • Europe: Mobile-oriented rather than PC-oriented; incumbents initially resisted municipal Wi-Fi but now recognize in-building limitations and are incorporating it within service bundles for nomadic broadband Internet access, or as a way to compete out-of-region.
  • Asia-Pacific: Status varies widely, but rapid uptake in advanced countries such as South Korea is resulting in innovative applications and the development of new end-user devices to leverage municipal Wi-Fi.
  • Emerging Regions: Equipment costs remains prohibitive; there is interest in the technology, but compared with more basic services such as electricity, funding is a challenge; these regions are likely to be late adopters.
Click here to see full article

Source: Newsletter Analyst Insider from ABI Research.

Thursday, March 13, 2008 10:27:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Reportlinker has issued a new report, which notes that in 2007, China mobile phone output reached approximately 594.4 million units, among which, 548 million units were legal products from official mobile phone producers and 46.4 million units were illegal products.

In 2007, sales volume reached 180.7 million units, amounting to 16% of the world total. In the same year, the global mobile phone output reached 1.141 billion units, of which 52 percent was from the Mainland China, exceeding 50% for the first time.

In the first half of 2007, the mobile phone output in the Mainland China totaled 266.8 million units, up 33.4% year on year and its combined sales revenue stood at CNY161.08 billion, up 29.6% year on year. Among the total output, 32.8 million were for CDMA mode, 234 million for GSM mode. Domestic sales volume reached 83 million units and exports arrived at 183.8 million.

In the later half of 2007, mobile phone production reached 327.6 million units, of which 230.2 million units were for exports, and 97.4 million for domestic sales.

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 9:55:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 10, 2008

Figures from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commisssion (BTRC) show that the country had 36.42 million mobile subscribers at the end of January 2008, an increase of more than two million in just one month. GrameenPhone led the way with a total of 16.88 million mobile customers, followed by Sheba Telecom (Bangalink) with 7.45 million and TMIB (Aktel) with 7.28 million subscribers. Bringing up the rear, Warid Telecom ended January with 2.37 million, PBTL (Citycell) with 1.45 million, and Teletalk with one million customers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 10, 2008 9:58:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bharti Airtel plans to use the expertise of Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) to roll out third generation services in Sri Lanka, The Economic Times reports, quoting the telecom major's president of mobile services, Sanjay Kapoor. The cellco, which is 30%-owned by SingTel, hopes to launch 2G and 3G mobile services in the country by September. Last year, Bharti Airtel secured a licence to become Sri Lanka's fifth GSM-based service provider.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 10, 2008 9:57:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Taiwan Mobile says it plans to invest in a nationwide next generation network (NGN) to allow it to offer converged IP-based fixed and wireless services. The firmís total spend on the new infrastructure is expected to exceed TWD20 billion (USD646 million), according to a report from the Taipei Times. Rollouts are expected to begin within the next few months.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 10, 2008 9:26:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hong Kong-based mobile operator SmarTone has reported that its fiscal first-half net income rose more than threefold to HKD161 million (USD21 million) after customers increased spending on high speed mobile data services. In the six months to end-December 2007 mobile service revenue increased by 10% year-on-year to HKD1.707 billion and EBITDA registered 26% growth to HKD551 million. The 3.5G operatorís data contribution to total turnover climbed to 22.1% compared to 17.1% in the same period of the previous year. Revenue from multimedia services accounted for two-thirds of total data turnover. Blended ARPU in the six months was up 7% at HKD238, while post-paid ARPU rose 11% to HKD283; the post-paid churn rate improved slightly to 2.1% in December 2007. SmarToneís customer base reached 1.108 million at the end of December, up from 1.077 million at the end of June, following a dip in the total from 1.093 million at end-December 2006. However the company reported that its 3G/3.5G customer base continues to expand and currently accounts for 40% of post-paid users, up from 30% last June. It added that CAPEX in fiscal 2007/08 is likely to increase by 15% year-on-year to HKD450 million as it focuses on enhancements to its GSM/W-CDMA/HSPA network.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, March 10, 2008 9:23:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thailand's four main mobile network operators, AIS, DTAC, True Move and Hutch has jointly announced plans to offer a special tariff to low-income people which will be managed by the government's Commerce Ministry.Thana Thienachariya, chief commercial officer of DTAC, told the Bangkok Post that the cards would feature a single tariff plan targeting low-income customers. The tariff will be known as "Blue Flag", which corresponds to other government subsidy schemes which are also known by blue flag names.

However, Mr Thana said the plan would depend heavily on market leader Advanced Info Service (AIS) as it would result in additional costs for smaller operators such as True Move and Hutch, who already faced operating losses.According to figures from the Mobile World database, the country's largest operator, AIS ended last September with some 23.2 million customers, followed by DTAC with 14.9 million, True Move (11.2 million) and Hutch with just 884,000.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 2:13:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Thai full-service telco True Corp returned to profit in 2007 after two consecutive annual losses, helped by a foreign exchange gain and interconnection revenues. Consolidated net income of THB1.7 billion (USD53 million) turned around a THB4 billion loss a year earlier, and easily beat a consensus analyst forecast of THB798 million from a Reuters poll. Group revenues rose 19.7% to THB60.5 billion in the year, boosted by the launch of a new interconnection regime between private operators.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 1:51:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 28, 2008

The CDMA Development Group (CDG) has announced that CDMA subscribers grew to more than 431 million, and CDMA2000 grew to more than 417 million during last year. The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region added the most net subscribers, and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) grew the fastest by percentage.

CDMA2000 subscribership among the 250 networks worldwide grew 16% in 2007, including strong sales figures for broadband EV-DO devices and services. The EV-DO subscriber base grew from 55 million to 90.5 million in 2007, achieving a compound annual growth rate of more than 64%.

APAC and North America claimed the majority of customers, with 49% and 32% of the global market, respectively. APAC added 6.2 million in Q4 2007 to reach 211 million subscribers, making it the largest net growth region in the world. North America alone has more than 137 million CDMA subscribers. APAC and EMEA saw the greatest year-over-year growth, with 24% and 60%, respectively. Other highly-concentrated regions for CDMA are India with more than 61 million subscribers, China with 42 million, and Indonesia with 14 million. In addition, more and more operators in emerging countries are reaching the one-million CDMA subscriber mark. For example, Angola's Movicel, Morocco's WANA, Starcomms of Nigeria, PTCL in Pakistan, Sudatel and Yemen Mobile all saw subscribership race past this milestone in 2007.

The CDG also noted that 2007 also saw an explosion in the availability of both low- and high-end devices. More than 350 devices were introduced on a commercial basis. Today, more than 82 very low-end (VLE) CDMA2000 handsets (under US$50 wholesale) are available globally from 19 suppliers.

Perhaps most important to the designation of 2007 as a critical year for CDMA is the number of CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Revision A (Rev. A) deployments that took place. At the beginning of the year, only three operators had deployed Rev. A technology. Now, 26 operators worldwide have upgraded to Rev. A and another 31 operators are in the process of upgrading. Operators with working Rev. A networks have witnessed a substantial increase in their data revenue.

In addition, CDMA has found a home in new spectrum allocations. China Unicom made a successful bid to operate 3G in Macau and rolled-out its first CDMA2000 1xEV-DO network there in October. PCCW-HKT Telephone won a 15-year license to deploy and operate CDMA2000 in the 800 MHz band in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, several operators in the United States are considering CDMA2000 to offer Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) in the 1.7/2.1 GHz frequency band.

On the 450 and 700 MHz fronts, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) reached a decision to use the two bands for 3G and next-generation mobile services.

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, February 28, 2008 5:42:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Azerbaijan's Minister of Communications and Information Technologies Ali Abbasov has announced that the country's three GSM operators are now negotiating on the allocation of radio spectrum for 3G services.

Click here to see full article

The Mobile World database notes that there are three GSM operators, along with one CDMA operator in the country. At the end of last September, there were just over 4.1 million subscribers in the country - representing a population penetration level of 55%.

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 9:55:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Thai communications and media holding group Shin Corp, controlled by Singapore's Temasek, has reported that its net profit in 2007 decreased by 6.3% to THB3.1 billion (USD101 million), on revenues of THB22.8 billion, down by THB142 million year-on-year. The firmís share of the net results of leading Thai mobile network operator Advanced Info Services (AIS) contributed 30.2% of total revenues. AIS, which has already reported its results separately, finished the year with a total of 24.1 million GSM users, an annual rise of 23%. In Laos, Lao Telecommunications Company (LTC), 49%-owned by Shinís Shenington Investments unit, saw mobile subscribers increase by 28.7% year-on-year to 700,306 at the end of December, primarily due to expansion following increased marketing activities targeted at low-usage subscribers. LTCís mobile ARPU increased by 10% whist its number of fixed PSTN subscribers increased by just 0.1% in the year. In Cambodia, Camshin, wholly owned by Shenington Investments, increased its mobile user base by 72.1% in 2007 to 469,514, again driven by marketing aimed at low-end pre-paid customers. Camshinís mobile ARPU decreased 12.1% on an annual basis, primarily as a result of the introduction of promotional packages following increased competition. Shin Corp also has a stake in Thailandís largest dial-up ISP, CS Loxinfo, which launched ADSL services in 2006.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 9:13:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 25, 2008

India's telecoms regulator, TRAI has reported record growth for the country's mobile phone operators. In January, they signed up 8.77 million new subscribers - which broke the record of 8.17 million set only the month before.

The total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & WLL(F)) base stood at 242.40 million at the end of January 2008. In the wireline segment, the subscriber base has slightly decreased to 39.22 million in the month of January 2008 as against 39.25 million subscribers in December 2007.

The total number of telephone connections reaches 281.62 million at the end of January 2008 as compared to 272.88 million in December 2007. The overall tele-density is 24.63% at the end of January 2008 as against 23.89% in December 2007.

Breakdown of subscriber numbers:

  1. Bharti Airtel 57,417,625
  2. Reliance 42,566,333
  3. Vodafone 41,145,413
  4. BSNL 37,986,440
  5. Tata Teleservices 22,541,429
  6. Idea 21,954,685
  7. Aircel 9,933,815
  8. Spice 3,942,828
  9. MTNL 3,284,804
  10. BPL Mobile 1,256,534
  11. HFCL Infotel 268,830
  12. Shyam Telelink       102,995

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, February 25, 2008 10:58:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Mobile, the world's largest operator by subscriber numbers has announced plans to seek overseas expansion and is considering setting up an MVNO in the saturated European market, along with industry favourite - the emerging markets of Asia and Africa.

Henry Ge, chief representative of China Mobile UK, told the Financial Times that the company would focus on three areas: emerging markets; overseas Chinese customers wanting to keep in touch with home; and "the short-term visiting market", which included travelling business customers and the growing number of Chinese tourists.

Vodafone has built up a 3.3 percent stake in China Mobile over a couple of purchases and has a representative on the company board of directors.

Last year, the China Mobile's unlisted parent company took control of Pakistan based Paktel for US$460 million and announced plans to spend a similar amount on improving the network.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, February 25, 2008 8:40:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 22, 2008

Chinese regulators are finalizing plans to overhaul the telecommunications industry under a package of reforms that is expected to consolidate six big state-run operators into three service providers.

The will see the emergence of three entities providing a full-range of services, unlike the current setup that has operators divided among fixed-line, cellular and other services, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday in its online edition, citing an outline of the restructuring carried by state-run media earlier in the week. The industry reforms, many analysts believe, will clear the way for the government to issue third-generation cell-phone licenses later this year.

Click here to see full article

The total number of cellphone users in China rose by 87 million to 547 million in 2007.

On the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at midday, shares of China Mobile were down 1.5%, China Telecom eased 1.3% and China Unicom rose 0.6%.

China's state-run media said Thursday that the restructuring plans would see China Mobile merge with the small fixed-line carrier China Tietong Telecommunications Corp.

The second big move would see China Telecommuncations parent of China Telecom, acquire a wireless network from Unicom parent China Untied Telecommunications. The third big move would see the GSM network of China United merge with the parent of China Netcom.

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, February 22, 2008 3:46:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Kuwaitís National Mobile Telecommunications (Wataniya) has reported a fourth quarter profit of KWD21.3 million (USD77.96 million), down almost 8% year-on-year, though profits for the full year were up 50% at KWD80.7 million. Revenue for 2007 stood at KWD407.6 million. Majority owned by Qatar Telecom, Wataniya is Kuwaitís second largest cellular operator, with around 1.2 million subscribers and a 43% share of the overall market at the end of 2007.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, February 22, 2008 10:47:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Monthly net additions in the Indian GSM market were the highest ever recorded in January 2008, according to the latest data from the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI). Including estimates for Reliance, whose reporting still lags by a month, GSM net additions increased in number to 6.54m in January Ė beating the previous best of 6.24m set in August 2007.

Cumulative customer growth rate since 07/07

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Friday, February 22, 2008 10:18:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The latest figures from the Pakistani telecoms regulator show that the mobile market in Pakistan grew to 78.74m customers at the end of January. The figure for monthly net additions of 1.86m was 17% down on the January 2007 total, and also represented the second lowest figure for two years, the lowest being the 1.52m recorded last October.

Orascom's Mobilink continues to dominate the market with 30.89m customers at the end of January, but it has lost market share in every month since February 2006 and January's 0.6pp fall saw it hit 39.2%, its lowest percentage since 2002. Pakistan Telecom Mobile (U-Fone) remained in second place with 16.44m customers at the end of January. However, in the last 6 months Telenor Pakistan has narrowed the deficit considerably, from 3.5m at the end of July to just over 1m at the end of January.

Monthly Net Additions by Operator

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 8:45:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wireless phone company Vodafone has dialed up mobile banking in -- surprise -- developing countries, not rich nations.

Vodafone's VOD service lets cell phone users transfer small sums of money via text messaging.

It's targeting developing countries in Asia and Africa, where most people don't have bank accounts, but cell phone use has soared.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008 8:56:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 15, 2008

The number of mobile subscribers in Pakistan reached a total of 78.74 million at the end of January versus 76.88 million subscribers in December. According to figures from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, Mobilink had the highest number of subscribers with 30.88 million subscribers, followed by Ufone with 16.44 million subscribers, Telenor with 15.35 million subscribers and Warid with 13.38 million subscribers. The mobile density was 48.96 in January compared to 48.61 in December. The number of fixed-line subscribers in Pakistan totalled 4.83 million in December. PTCL had the highest number of subscribers with nearly 4.69 million subscribers followed by NTC with 106,336 subscribers, NayaTel with 13,500, Worldcall with 10,008 and Union Communication with 3,500 subscribers. The number of wireless local loop subscribers rose to 2.20 million at the end of January, compared to 2.12 million in December. PTCL had the highest number of WLL subscribers at 1.27 million. TeleCard, World Call, and Wateen had 0.46 million, 0.39 million and 11,792 subscribers respectively. The new operators Burraq and Mytel had only 190 and 138 users respectively. The total fixed teledensity was 4.45 for January, which was comprised of 3.06 fixed density and 1.39 WLL density.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, February 15, 2008 11:46:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China's Ministry of Information Industry (MII) plans to expand broadband services to more than 95% of the nation's villages in 2008, up from 92% in December 2007. All of the towns and villages in some of the central and eastern provinces will be covered by the end of this year. According to the MII, the number of internet users in China rose by 73 million in 2007, to 210 million; of the new users some 40% reside in rural areas. The total number of rural internet users rose by 127% in 2007 to 52.62 million compared to a 38.2% increase in urban users. China had 122 million broadband users at the end of 2007.

Source: Telegeography.

Friday, February 15, 2008 10:27:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 14, 2008

Recently published figures from the Japanese telecoms regulator show that the trend established in the latter half of 2007 continued in the first month of 2008, with Softbank extending its run of market-leading performances to nine months. In fact, Softbank's January figure of 201k new connections represented 59.8% of the total net additions for Japan, the highest percentage it has ever claimed. KDDI's combined au and Tu-Ka offerings added 83k while DoCoMo managed just 20k, lower even than startup 3G operator eMobile, which added 33k.

Of course, the level of stratification in the Japanese market means that DoCoMo's lead is nigh-on unassailable in terms of overall customer numbers, with 53.17m connections at the end of January compared to 29.64m for KDDI and 17.81m for Softbank. However, DoCoMo's market share continues to slide inexorably downwards, with a 0.2pp drop in January taking it to 52.7%. This compares to 54.8% a year earlier. KDDI gained 0.6pp year on year, although it has been stuck on 29.4% since August, while Softbank finished on 17.7%, a 1.2pp yearly gain.

In total, the Japanese market reached 100.86m customers at the end of January, with the level of W-CDMA penetration up to 55.1% from 41.6% a year earlier.

Percentage of monthly net additions by operator

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, February 14, 2008 8:55:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 07, 2008

Korean market leader SK Telecom finished 2007 with 21.97m customers and a market share of 50.5%, up 0.1pp compared to the end of 2006. Quarterly net additions of 0.36m brought the annual total to just under 1.7m, an 8.4% annual growth rate. Revenue growth lagged behind customer growth slightly, a 6% rise taking the 2007 total to KRW 11,286bn. However, operating income was down 16% to KRW 2,172bn, and this impacted EBITDA, which was down 5% compared to 2006 at KRW 4,024bn.

One of the most remarkable aspects of SK Telecom's figures is the growth in the W-CDMA customer base, which we estimate to have reached 2.68m at year-end.

This represents an astonishing growth rate of 8847%, with the customer base at the end of 2006 standing at just 30k. However, this still leaves it short of KT Freetel's figure for 3G customers, which was 3.21m at the end of 2007 having launched in January 2007.

Clearly the appetite for 3G services in Korea is enormous. With 14% of Korea's total mobile customers owning W-CDMA handsets at the end of 2007 - up from 0.1% at the end of 2006 - it will be interesting to see how long it takes for 3G penetration to rise to the levels seen in Japan, where it currently accounts for more than half of the total.

Customers by Technology Standard

Source: Cellular News.

Thursday, February 07, 2008 1:16:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 24, 2008

The number of mobile subscribers in Bangladesh reached 34.037 million at the end of December, up by 1.027 million in a month, and a rise of over twelve million since the start of the year, according to the latest figures from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). GrameenPhone remains the market leader with 16.48 million customers, up from 15.15 million at the end of September, while Banglalink (aka Sheba Telecom) ended the year with 7.08 million subscribers, up from 6.02 million at the start of the fourth quarter, and double its figure at the beginning of 2007. This growth pushed Orascom-owned Banglalink into second place in the market, overtaking Telecom Malaysia subsidiary AKTEL, which lost 600,000 net customers in 4Q to end December with 6.40 million users, according to the regulatorís figures. UAE-backed Warid Telecom acquired 2.15 million customers - taking fourth place - in just eight months after launching in May 2007. Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited (CityCell), the only CDMA operator in a GSM-dominated sector, continued to steadily increase its subscriber base to 1.41 million by end-December, up from 1.32 million at the end of 3Q. State-run Teletalk had 850,000 subscribers on 31 December, up from 720,000 a month earlier, and 400,000 at end-2006, although previous claims had put its estimated subscriber base at a million by end-September 2007.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 9:00:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Thailandís largest mobile network operator by subscribers, Advanced Info Services (AIS), has said that it believes it should be allowed to launch 3G services using W-CDMA technology in its existing 900MHz frequency band, without waiting for a specific 3G licence. The GSM operator, and its rivals True Move and DTAC, are still waiting for the authorities to award UMTS licences, now expected sometime in the first half of this year. AIS has earmarked USD600 million for a first phase rollout of a 3G network covering Bangkok and 20 provinces.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 8:58:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Taiwanese cellco Taiwan Mobile says it is aiming to double its 3G user base in 2008, from 1.3 million now to 2.6 million by year-end. The firm plans to procure between 1.1 million and 1.2 million handsets this year, of which around half will be 3G models, chief business officer Cliff Lai told DigiTimes.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 8:56:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 22, 2008

China Telecom ended 2007 with 220.33 million local access lines in service (includes wireless local access lines), down from 223.04 million access lines in December 2006. In December alone the company lost 1.48 million customers and during the year China Telecom shed 2.71 million customers. However, the company added 600,000 broadband subscribers in December to end the month with a total of 35.65 million broadband users. Over the full year the company signed-up 7.33 million broadband subscribers.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 10:39:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pakistan ended 2007 with 76.61 million mobile phone users, up from 74.59 million in November, according to figures from market regulator the PTA. Mobilink was market leader with 30.66 million customers, followed by Ufone with 16.66 million. Telenor Pakistan is third with 14.60 million, while Warid finished the year with 13.21 million. Mobile teledensity reached 48.42 percent at the end of the year, versus 39.94 percent at the start of 2007.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Thursday, January 17, 2008 1:01:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, there were 19.5 million new subscribers in 2007, taking the countryís total number of fixed and mobile users to 46.94 million, giving a penetration rate of 55.2%. Dominant telco VNPT added nearly 9.9 million new customers to reach a total of 27.8 million, helping to boost revenue 13% year-on-year to VND45.3 trillion (USD2.8 billion). Viettel ranked second with 5.9 million new additions, taking its total to 15.3 million and recording revenue of VND16.5 trillion.

Source: Telegeography, based on information from the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Thursday, January 17, 2008 9:45:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 14, 2008

South Korea's Korean Investment Services has reported that during 2007, the three local mobile operators had net additions numbering 3.3 million. Considering annual net additions were only 1.76 million in 2005 and 1.86 million in 2006, the 2007 result was quite exceptional, caused by stiff competition for subscriber attraction and 3G marketing.

Although all three companies could not avoid seeing eroded profitability due to higher marketing costs, sign-ups gained in 2007 should contribute to sales growth from 2008.

SK Telecom and LG Telecom were relatively strong in subscriber attraction over the last year. In particular, as SK Telecom sought to defend its market share of 50.5% from the beginning of last year, its annual market share of net additions exceeded 50% for the first time since 2003. LG Telecom was also successful with 0.8 million net additions by focusing on 2G subscriber attraction in contrast to KTF, which concentrated its marketing efforts on early 3G services.

Handset sales: Dropped slightly MoM

In December, the number of mobile telecom subscribers reached 43.5 million with the service penetration rate up to 89.3%.

The number of 3G service subscribers grew by 0.9 million in December to reach 5.7 million, or 13.1% of all mobile signups. SK Telecom attracted 466,314 net additions to its 3G service, beating KTFís 431,108 for the fourth straight month. In cumulative numbers, SK Telecom and KTF have 2.5 million and 3.2 million, which account for 9.3% and 20.3% of total subscribers, respectively.

The research firm said that it expects that the cumulative numbers to reach 16.5 million by the end of 2008 and 27.5 million by 2009. LG Telecom, which should start full-fledged 3G service this year, should accelerate the migration.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, January 14, 2008 9:43:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 09, 2008

At the end of September, there were 20 networks in the world with more than 30 million customers. Eight of these were in the Asia Pacific region including the largest and the second largest. Six of the 20 come from just two countries, China and India, and these six together account for over 650 million customers, or nearly 21% of the global total.

In previous issues, when reviewing this region, we have noted that the weight of demographics limits the number of changes in the order of the top ten operators and this continues to be the case. The one change this quarter is that Bharti has now overtaken Telkomsel in Indonesia to take fourth place with a total of 48.9 million customers at the end of the period. It is poised to jump another place in the current quarter (at DoCoMo's expense) as the recently-published November numbers show the Japanese operator has added just a handful of new customers since the end of the quarter, to stand at 53.03 million, while the Indian number one has taken on a further 4 million to reach 52.96 million, less than seventy thousand below the company that was for almost all of the last century the clear global leader.

Asia Pacific, Leading MNOs (m)

Click here to see full article
Wednesday, January 09, 2008 9:48:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hong Kong ended fiscal 2007 with 9.356 million mobile users, up 7 percent from 8.693 million users at the end of fiscal 2006, according to figures from regulator OFTA. Telecommunications services revenue totalled HKD 52.811 billion, up 3 percent from HKD 51.094 billion. Cable TV subscribers rose to 1.53 million, up 10 percent from 1.39 million. ISDN subscribers increased to 13121 from 12009. ISDN B channel equivalent subscribers increased to 79,458 subscribers from 75,493 subscribers. International outgoing telephone minutes totalled 6.747 billion, up 14 percent from 5.909 billion. International incoming telephone minutes increased nearly 8 percent to 2.291 billion from 2.122 billion. International bothway telephone minutes increased 12.5 percent to 9.038 billion from 8.031 billion. Full-time telecommunication staff decreased to 17,935 from 19,019 staff previously. 135.40 percent of the population was covered compared to 124.8 percent in the previous year. Main telephone lines in operation increased to 3.85 million versus 3.798 million. Public payphones decreased to 6182 from 6769 payphones.

Source: Wireless Foundation.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008 9:41:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 07, 2008

Bangladesh's telecoms regulator, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has published subscriber data for last November, as supplied to them by the operators. The country itself ended the month with 33.1 million subscribers, which equates to a population penetration level of around 22%. The market added a net 770,000 new subscribers in the month of November.

Grameenphone remains the market leader by a considerable margin, with 16.01 million subscribers. Second and third place are almost neck and neck, with Aktel on 6.53 million and Banglalink a shade behind on 6.51 million.

The remaining three operators are Warid (1.95 million), Citycell (1.38 million) and last is Teletalk with just 720,000 subscribers.

Source: Cellular News.

Monday, January 07, 2008 4:18:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The declining prices of mobile handsets and low connectivity costs have helped in doubling internet access through cellphones this year.
 
The latest Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) figures showed that the number of Indians using their mobiles (both GSM and CDMA) to access the internet has more than doubled from 16 million in 2006 to 38 million in 2007.
 
There were 2.69 million broadband subscribers as on October 30 this year. Besides, of the 22 million PCs in the country, around 30-40 per cent have internet access.
 

Click here to see full article
Monday, January 07, 2008 10:50:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 21, 2007

We have recently updated our forecasts for the Chinese market and like many of you we are following the prospective development of high-speed networks closely. Since Q1 2005, China has been growing at an average of 4%  quarter on quarter. Contrast this with a more mature market like the USA which has averaged 2% growth on a quarterly basis since Q3 last year. Today, China represents 40% of Asia Pacific cellular connections, and 16% of the World cellular connections. If the market follows the pattern we believe it will next year, it can add another 100 million connections and reach 46% market penetration in just 5 more quarters.

Figure 1: China: Cellular connections and market penetration

Click here to see full article
Friday, December 21, 2007 3:34:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Japanese mobile operator Softbank Mobile again led in subscriber additions in November, adding 191,600 new customers to end the month with a total of 17.40 million subscribers. Figures from the Telecommunications Carrier Association further show that Softbank was followed by KDDI, which posted net adds of 65,400 comprising 107,200 new au subscribers while the company shed 41,900 TU-KA customers, in-line with the termination plans. KDDI had 29.01 million au subscribers and 399,000 TU-KA users at the end of the month. NTT DoCoMo added 36,300 new subscribers, of which 15,300 were 2in1 subscribers, to reach a total of 53.02 million. DoCoMo ended November with a total of 183,100 2in1 subscribers. The 2in1 service allows a single mobile user to have two phone numbers and e-mail addresses for a flat monthly fee. Newcomer Emobile saw its mobile customer base stable at 122,300. Together, the mobile operators added 305,100 new customers and there were 99.97 million mobile users in the country. The number of PHS users in the country fell by 56,300 to 4.85 million. Willcom lost 21,600 customers to end the month with 4.60 million and NTT DoCoMo, which plans to terminate its PHS service next year, shed 34,700 PHS subscribers and now has a total of 251,800 PHS users.

Source : Wireless Federation, based on figures from Telecommunication Carriers Association.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 10:03:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Indian mobile market reached a total of 213.1m subscribers at the end of October, a monthly increase of 7.86m subscribers. This is the third highest monthly total for net additions ever recorded in India, with July and August taking the top two places. In terms of annual growth, the number of mobile customers in India has grown by 64.4% in the 12 months to the end of October, which equates to an astounding 83.5m new connections. 64.0m of these were GSM customers, with 19.4m new CDMA customers.

India: Monthly Customer Growth Rates, Top Four Operators

Click here to see full article

Source : Cellular-News.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 9:51:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |